Portsmouth City Council successfully hosted its first ever Clean Air Day on Thursday 21st June.
Over 500 people attended five events to find out more about the simple measures they can take to improve air quality and protect their and other peoples' health. People were encouraged to walk, scoot, car share or cycle in a bid use their cars less for short journeys.
The roadshows kicked off in the morning at the Park and Ride terminal, where electric bikes were demonstrated and visitors were shown how easy it is to charge an electric car. Local bus operator Stagecoach South, who gave away over 50 tickets for Clean Air Day, attended with one of 20 Euro 6 low-emission buses in operation in the city. Over 300 people had taken up a free Park and Ride ticket giveaway, including members of the Horndean Walking Group [pictured above], who were travelling to the seafront for a coastal walk.
Additional events held in London Road, The Hard, Gunwharf Quays and Commercial Road attracted even more visitors. The ever popular Bike Doctor team carried out free basic checks and repairs in Commercial Road and were joined by officers who security marked bicycles for free. At The Hard, Stagecoach returned with their Euro 6 bus. First Bus showcased their Star Bus and gave out free tickets in a special giveaway for Clean Air Day.
Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Members and Lord Mayor gave their support to improve air quality by recording pledges, which were added to the council's new Cleaner Air Portsmouth Facebook page. Pledges ranged from cycling more, walking, leaving their car at home and speaking to as many people as possible about Clean Air Day.
Cllr Dave Ashmore, Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, said: "I'm delighted that the people of Portsmouth threw themselves into the spirit of the Clean Air Day. It's great that so many people are dedicated to improving Portsmouth's air quality and reducing harmful nitrogen dioxide levels in our city. I hope that events have motivated people to take to their feet more or consider other alternative methods of transport."
The council was awarded £450,000 from the government's £260 million Clean Air Fund to deliver a series of sustainable travel initiatives and awareness-raising campaigns to improve air quality across the city, and in particular in the city's five remaining Air Quality Management Areas. In addition to Clean Air Day, cycle training schemes, workplace journey planning, electric vehicle charging points and improvements to key travel routes in the city are planned to promote and encourage more sustainable travel options.