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Make your pledge to help reduce air pollution on Clean Air Day

Essential maintenance will be taking place on a number of online systems on Sunday 24 June between 10am and 5pm. This may lead to some parts of the website being unavailable at times. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Cornwall Council is asking residents, businesses and staff to make a pledge to do their bit to improve air quality for National Clean Air Day (21 June).

Clean Air Day will see thousands of people up and down the country taking part in events, making personal pledges, walking to work or school instead of driving, and more. 

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The Council is marking the day in Cornwall with events to help reduce engine idling in St Austell, Camelford and Launceston.  Volunteers from the town councils and Cornwall Council councillors and staff will be giving advice to drivers waiting in traffic queues about the benefits of switching off their car engines if they are stationary for a minute or more.  In Cornwall around 40% of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution is caused by private diesel cars, and adjacent to a busy road around 80% of air pollution is caused by traffic.  If drivers switch off their engines when their cars are stopped for one minute or more, pollution can be reduced by 20-30%.

Schools will have the opportunity to take part in Clean Air Day with free educational packs provided by the Council.  The packs aim to raise awareness of pollution among children by explaining why clean air is important, what stops air being clean, and how to avoid and reduce air pollution.  There’s also an activity that involves children in designing a clean air superhero to protect people from air pollution.

Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “In Cornwall we have nine Air Quality Management Areas where traffic related air pollution is higher than the government’s recommended action level.  As a Council we’re tackling air pollution across Cornwall by providing new walking and cycling opportunities, working with partners to introduce cleaner buses, trialling new technology to reduce emissions from our own vehicle fleet, and much more.

“As individuals, we all have a role to play in improving air quality too.  Every time we make a choice about how to travel what we’re doing makes a difference to the amount of air pollution in Cornwall.  On Clean Air Day, why not pledge to try something different?  Walk, cycle, take the bus or train, use the park and ride, or look at options like car sharing or joining a car club. Even sharing tips and ideas for saving fuel, and therefore money, with friends and family, will have the benefit of improving air quality.”

In the UK over 600 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) have been declared in areas with poor air quality.  All of the AQMAs have higher levels of nitrogen dioxide gas than they should, and vehicles are the main source of nitrogen dioxide. 

There’s more information about Clean Air Day and ideas for getting involved on our Clean Air Day page.

Story posted 14 June 2018