Hounslow Council is fully supporting Clean Air Day, the UK's largest environmental campaign and encourages everyone to pledge what they will do to improve air quality for everyone's benefit.
Published: Thursday, 8th October 2020
Today is Clean Air Day when schools, hospitals, workplaces and communities across the UK are running activities and taking action to inspire people to take simple steps to protect their health, and their families’ health, from air pollution.
Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest environmental campaign and is all about raising awareness of air pollution issues and supporting individuals and businesses to help reduce the amount of air pollution they create.
Air pollution is associated with a number of adverse health impacts and can be a contributing factor to the onset of heart disease and cancer. Across Hounslow it has been estimated that more than 100 deaths can be attributed annually to poor air quality. Air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable in society: children and the elderly, and those with heart and lung conditions.
During the COVID-19 lockdown we experienced cleaner air and saw massive shifts to low pollution behaviours. In Hounslow, between March and May 2020, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was down by 34% across the borough, compared to the same period in 2019. However, between June to August 2020 there has been a 16% rise in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution. This is still lower than the value recorded over the same period in 2019, but air pollution is slowly increasing as the borough goes back to old behaviour patterns following lockdown.
Hounslow Council is committed to working with residents and businesses to improve the network for those who walk, cycle and use public transport. Our Streetspace programme, implemented in line with Government guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has implemented a wide range of measures that reduce through traffic on residential roads and outside schools, as well as delivering improved facilities for cyclists on major routes through pop-up cycle lanes. We’re also significantly expanding our network of Electric Vehicle Charging Points to help remove any barriers to residents switching away from fossil-fuelled cars.
As individuals, there are simple steps we can all take to help our family avoid toxic air and cut down on the pollution we emit – it's good for us and good for the planet too.
People across the UK are being asked to make a pledge to change one aspect of their behaviour this Clean Air Day. This can be giving your car the day off, to walking or cycling short trips or simply pledging to turn your engine off when waiting in traffic.
Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Climate Emergency at Hounslow Council said:
“Clean Air Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of air pollution and the challenges we face in addressing it. Air Quality is a key priority for us in Hounslow and our Transport Strategy, Air Quality and Climate Emergency action plans all aim to reduce air pollution and help our residents to adopt cleaner, healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyles.
“This Clean Air Day please pledge to change at least one aspect of how you live for the benefit of everyone. I am pledging to do my shopping by bike. If everyone takes action, great things can be achieved.”
For more information on what Hounslow Council is doing to counteract air pollution and to download a pledge template to make your own pledge and share it on social media, visit https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/cleanairday
For more information on Clean Air Day, including a programme of live virtual events, visit www.cleanairday.org.uk