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Residents left their cars at home and took to public transport, pupils organised walking buses to school and cyclists pedalled in convoy as Bath and North East Somerset got involved in this year’s Clean Air Day.

The idea behind the annual Clean Air Day, which this year took place on Thursday 20 June, is to improve people’s understanding of air pollution, how it affects our health and what we can do to tackle it.

Motor vehicles create toxic air and Bath has particularly high levels of NO2 which can make heart and lung problems, such as asthma, much worse.

On Clean Air Day residents were urged to pledge to use sustainable methods of travel while the council hosted a special pop-up event in Kingsmead Square, Bath with lots of advice and information and hands-on demonstrations of how to get around sustainably.

Councillor Sarah Warren, cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services, said “It was great to see so many people change their behaviour on Clean Air Day and do their bit to reduce air pollution be it taking part in a walking bus, car sharing or ditching horse-power in favour of pedal power.

“I was particularly inspired by school pupils across the city from Combe Down to St Andrews who are taking positive action to address traffic issues around their schools.

“I went along to our event in Kingsmead Square and was really encouraged by the positive conversations I had.  Next year I want to build on the success of this year’s Clean Air Day and would like to see road closures, more free bus tickets and I hope to work with businesses to offer deals on electric bikes. Awareness of air pollution, its impact and what we can do to tackle it is improving, but if we are to substantially improve air quality we need to help residents change their behaviour and use sustainable methods of transport whenever they can and not just on Clean Air Day.”

For more information on sustainable travel options visit: https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/environment/sustainability/travel

Press release by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

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