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City joins national Clean Air Day

Published on 16 June 2017

PUPILS at a Leicester school have been learning about the benefits of active travel as part of an event to mark the first national Clean Air Day.

Children from Overdale infant and junior schools, in Knighton, were encouraged to walk, cycle scoot or skate to school as part of a day of activities to raise awareness of the problems caused by poor air quality.

Parents were also invited to take part in fun activities to help encourage them to leave the car at home.

The event was organised with the support of Sustrans, the charity that works to make it easier for people to walk and cycle. It was funded by the city council as part of Choose How You Move, an ambitious three-year programme to boost sustainable transport which is backed by £3.2milllion of Government funding.

Anna Singleton, event organiser and Bike It officer at Sustrans, said: “Events like this are a good way to help people think about how their actions and lifestyle choices impact on air quality.

“There is a strong link between road transport and air pollution. Poor air quality can have negative effects on developing lungs, making it even more important for children.

“We want to help raise awareness of this and encourage families to make more journeys by bike, foot or scooter.”

National Clean Air Day also saw bus operator Arriva Midlands sign up to the new Healthier Air for Leicester campaign. All Arriva buses fitted with clean air technology will now be instantly recognisable thanks to a bold new logo.

Simon Mathieson, Business Development Director at Arriva Midlands, who has special responsibility for helping cities meet their clean air challenges, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Leicester City Council on the Healthier Air for Leicester initiative and are determined to do all we can to make the environment cleaner in our city.

"Increasing the use of buses and reducing the use of private cars is crucial to cutting congestion and tackling air pollution in our towns and cities. Arriva is investing in the very latest green technology to ensure that our buses play their part in improving air quality.”

Cllr Adam Clarke, assistant city mayor for energy and sustainability, said: “Clean Air Day is a good opportunity to raise awareness of issues around air quality and the steps we can all take towards Healthier Air for Leicester.

“We are making good progress in achieving cleaner air in Leicester and our air quality action plans sets ambitious targets for the next ten years.

“But this is not something the council can do on its own. The Healthier Air for Leicester campaign is about recognising the vital input of our partners and helping raise awareness of air quality all year round.”