On Thursday 21 June, Clean Air Day (CAD) will see schools, hospitals, workplaces and communities across the UK run events and inspire people to act for cleaner air for all
Portsmouth City Council is supporting the day through a series of events across the city, and is offering hundreds of free park & ride tickets to people travelling into the city on the day. In addition, transport partners Stagecoach and First Bus will be giving out free tickets at the Hard Interchange, and people will have the opportunity to explore a new low-emission Euro 6 bus and find out more about electric vehicles at the park & ride terminal.
During these free events, active travel advisers will be encouraging car drivers to find alternative modes of transport for shorter journeys in a bid to cut air pollution.
Councillor Dave Ashmore, Portsmouth's Cabinet Member for environment, said. "Around 16 per cent of all car journeys in Portsmouth are less than 3km. Portsmouth is a great city for cycling and walking as it is flat and compact, so we want to use Clean Air Day as an opportunity to encourage those who use the car for these shorter distances to walk or cycle instead. We are working to improve safety and accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians.
Everybody can have a positive impact on air quality. Small actions such as cutting your engine while stationary or swapping the car for public transport one day a week will make a big difference. For us 21 June will be a day of practical action and awareness-raising, so we can all breathe cleaner air. "
Councillor Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Heath, Wellbeing and Social Care, said. "Clean Air Day has many health and wellbeing benefits. Walking and cycling instead of taking the car gets your heart rate up and burns calories. It can also help you clear your mind and lessens the stress of your commute. Fewer cars on the road will also drastically reduce air pollution, which means nicer air for us all and which will help with conditions such as asthma. As an asthmatic myself I'd be grateful for anything which can ease this condition."
Global Action Plan, the charity behind Clean Air Day, has issued five key pieces of advice to drivers ahead of Clean Air Day, including:
- Use your feet, take to the street and get active – Walk, cycle, bus, tube, tram, boat, however you like to travel, leave your car at home and take to the streets. As well as cutting down the amount of pollution you make, you’ll increase your daily exercise.
- Drive in to the future – Cars may not fly or run on trash yet but when you upgrade your car, explore an electric, hybrid or LPG model (to save on your road tax too)
- Give your car a holiday – There are some easy ways to use your car less; car-sharing or working from home if possible. And they quickly become part of your routine.
- Get out of your car – Car drivers can be exposed to twice as much air pollution as pedestrians and nine times more than a cyclist. So, avoid sitting in your car in heavy traffic where pollution can build up and walk or cycle instead
- Keep your car tyres inflated – Having well-inflated tyres means your car will be more efficient and use less fuel. Great for the environment and great for your pocket too.
To find out more about what Portsmouth City Council is doing on Clean Air Day visit their website: www.portsmouth.gov.uk/cleanairday