Today marks Clean Air Day. This day seeks to highlight the dangers and impact of air pollution as well as seeking to improve air quality. In Nottingham City we are particularly focussing on idling vehicles, an issue which is easily preventable and which every driver in the city can tackle.
Over 50% of dangerous particulate matter polluting our cities is caused by taxis and cars, idling is especially an issue as it builds up pollution locally. This can be a big problem around schools, where parents dropping off or picking up their children can leave their engines running, causing spikes in particulate matter. This pollution and poor air quality can have huge impacts on our health. it causes 36,000 premature deaths in the UK annually. This can be even more pronounced for children who are still growing.
There are a number of ways air pollution can be reduced, many of these via actions that everyone can take. For example leaving your car at home and using public transport instead or travelling at quieter times to avoid congestion. More details about this can be found online at: https://www.cleanairhub.org.uk/clean-air-information/what-can-i-do
What is clear is that while air pollution is a global and national issue, the proactive steps taken by the Nottingham Labour led city council has meant that Nottingham has reduced pollution levels while ensuring that its residents can still get around the city easily.
Novel steps such as the Workplace Parking Levy reduces pollution, while our safe school programme seeks to reduce cars idling at school gates, mitigating potential harmful pollution hurting our city’s children
We have maintained majority ownership of NCT, which operates the largest fleet of biogas double decker buses in the country with zero tailgate emissions. Our tram network enables people to move around the city easily powered by clean electricity. We are also focussed on making more homes more energy efficient, as well as championing solar panel technology to reduce the burning of fossil fuels.
Despite all these positive steps, there is still more we can do and Clean air day offers a good time to reflect on that, and for Nottingham Labour to renew and strengthen its commitment to being as green and forward looking a city as possible. Councillor Sally Longford, portfolio holder for Energy, Environment and Waste said “This Clean Air Day we want to remind people that clean air is everyones responsibility and everyone can make a contribution to a healthier city”