WARRINGTON Borough Council is urging residents to support Clean Air Day, today, the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, aiming to raise awareness of air quality issues and the impact they have on our everyday lives.
This year’s day of action is taking place today, Thursday 17 June and residents are being urged to take steps to improve air quality.
Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to the public’s health, contributing to around 145 premature deaths each year in Warrington, and an estimated 50,000 nationally. People most at risk include those who live near major roads, live in more deprived areas, older people, and people with existing medical conditions. Pollution peaks can make certain health conditions worse, leading to increased hospital admissions.
All local authorities are required by the government to regularly review their air quality against national limits. The council is already carrying out a number of actions to improve air quality through the Air Quality Action Plan and Local Transport Plan, including encouraging an uptake in electric vehicles and installing an intelligent transport system on Winwick Road to improve traffic flow.
The council has also installed electric vehicle charging points at Time Square multi-storey car park and Warrington West Station, and is currently creating new cycleways to make it easier and safer for people to leave their cars at home.
Residents all have a part to play to improve air pollution, whether it’s by using our cars less, unplugging electronics when we’re not using them or avoiding having bonfires.
The council is encouraging everyone to think about how you could help to make some small changes in your lives to help improve our local air quality. You might decide to:
·Leave the car at home for the day – walk, cycle or use public transport to work or to school
·Avoid lighting a garden bonfire or BBQ
·Improve your indoor air quality – limit the use of wood burners, open windows and allow natural ventilation to cool your home and freshen the air, rather than using electric fans and plug ins
Cllr Hitesh Patel, cabinet member for environment and public protection said: “The huge impact that poor air quality can have on people’s lives is an important issue for Warrington – cleaner air can benefit us all, but especially our most vulnerable residents.
“Our plans for improved air quality are part of our commitment to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, now and in the future.”
Find out more about air quality in Warrington at warrington.gov.uk/airquality. For more information about Clean Air Day and tips on how you can help, visit cleanairday.org.uk.