Bucks councils rise to the challenge of Clean Air Day

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Bucks County Council is launching a campaign to raise awareness of Clean Air Day which takes place tomorrow (Thursday).

The latest research shows that in 2016, 234 deaths in Buckinghamshire were directly attributed to poor air quality.

The annual cost to the UK of air pollution is in the region of £20 billion and 25% of all car journeys in the UK are less than two miles.

As a nation, if we all walked those short journeys, not only would we would burn 3.6 billion calories and save £16m in fuel, but at the same time we would be improving air quality.

Poor air quality is an issue which is affecting all areas within Bucks and officers and councillors from the county council and the four district councils, including Aylesbury Vale, are all working together to increase awareness of the local and national picture in order to identify good practice across the county.

Bill Chapple OBE, county council cabinet member for planning and environment said: “Together with the districts we met in May for the country’s first ever Air Quality conference to explore joined up working and maximising the health benefits of clean air for residents.

“Clean Air Day is an important first step for us in tackling these issues.”

All five councils promoting Clean Air Day are encouraging their own staff to either walk or cycle to work, car share, park and stride or to use public transport.

There will be individual pledges on what actions will be taken on the day as well as promotion on social media.

Messages promoting Clean Air Day have also been displayed on all major routes into Aylesbury town centre on the electronic road signs with a message highlighting what action motorists can take to improve air quality on the day itself, such as turning your car engine off when in traffic.

Sir Beville Stanier, cabinet member for environment and waste at Aylesbury Vale District Council said: “Public awareness of air pollution is on the increase, but there’s a long way to go to ensure we’re all better at protecting ourselves. “This campaign is designed to help the public find out more about the issues surrounding air pollution and how everyone can make a difference.”

More information about Clean Air Day is available online at www.cleanairday.org.uk