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We are urging residents to go green on Clean Air Day

19 June 2018

We are encouraging residents to go green on Thursday (21 June) in support of Clean Air Day.

Clean Air Day is an initiative designed to raise awareness of air pollution and encourages people to make small changes to reduce their emissions to help improve air quality.

As part of the campaign, we are asking drivers in the district to turn off their engines while waiting to help reduce air pollution.

Councillor Dyan Jones, our Environment portfolio holder, said: “Clean Air Day is a fantastic opportunity for people to learn more about the impacts of air pollution and to make small changes to improve the air we breathe.

“I’d urge all car users in South Lakeland to take part in our initiative and to switch off their engines while waiting.”

Councillor Jones added: “Better yet, if your journey is a short one, why not leave the car at home? Walk, cycle or take public transport.”

According to charity Global Action Plan - organisers of Clean Air Day - double the amount of pollution is emitted from cars in the first five minutes of a journey, as pollution control systems take time to reach operating temperatures.

Short journeys are therefore making a significant contribution to the UK’s air pollution challenge and organisers of the annual scheme are asking car drivers to find alternative transport for these journeys.

Recent research suggests air pollution is linked to around 40,000 deaths every year including cancers, strokes, heart disease and dementia.

Children, the elderly and those with existing respiratory conditions are most at risk.

Global Action Plan has offered the following tips to help reduce air pollution:

  • Use your feet, take to the street and get active.
  • When you upgrade your car, explore an electric, hybrid or LPG model.
  • Try ways of using the car less, for example, car sharing or working from home, if possible.
  • If you do have to drive, keep your tyres inflated.

A new report looking at tackling air pollution in Lancashire and South Cumbria has been launched to coincide with Clean Air Day. 

Reducing deaths and ill-health caused by poor air quality in Lancashire and Cumbria is backed by the four directors of Public Health responsible for Blackburn, Darwen, Lancashire, Cumbria and Blackpool and is designed to highlight issues around poor air quality. 

Public Health England estimates around 4% of all deaths across Lancashire and Cumbria are due to poor air quality. 

The aim of the report is to start a conversation and improve awareness of the issues, encouraging people to take both individual and collective action to help cut air pollution following the Lancashire and Cumbria Air Quality Summit held in February.