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Portsmouth schoolchildren are being invited to write and draw an imaginative postcard about the future of travel as if they were living in the city in the year 2030.

The competition, developed by the Cleaner Air team at Portsmouth City Council, asks young people to consider how they might be travelling, what the city might look like and what changes will have happened in ten years’ time.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change at Portsmouth City Council, said: “Air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today and young people are acutely aware of the devastating impact this has on the Earth’s climate. We all have an important part to play in making the air around us cleaner and collectively we can make a difference – for our future, the future of our children and the future of our city.”

The competition has been launched this week to celebrate Clean Air Day; the UK’s largest air pollution campaign. During lockdown, there was a significant drop in air pollution across the UK; mainly due to the reduction in car use, with four-out-of-five adults noticing less traffic.

As more of us begin to use our cars again for commuting, visiting friends and family, and travelling around our city – now is the time to consider how we make those journeys and whether we can consider alternative modes of travel instead, especially those under two miles.

The health benefits of sustainable travel – such as walking, cycling or using public transport – are enormous and include:

  • Better physical and mental health
  • Improvements to quality of life
  • Saving time and money
  • Protecting our environment
  • Improving the quality of our local places

Anyone aged 15 and under can enter by writing and/or drawing a postcard by hand or using a computer. Entries should include the entrant’s name, age and school and be emailed to the Cleaner Air team as a photograph or attachment.

Prizes include a brand new bike and scooter for two individual winners and scooter racks for two schools and the deadline to enter is midnight on Saturday 1 November.

Submit or entries to cleanerair@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or email with any questions.

Competition rules

The competition runs from Thursday 8 October until midnight on Saturday 1 November. Entries will be split into two age categories:

  • 10 years and younger
  • 11 – 15 years

You can only submit one entry per person. There is a word limit of 400 words but pictures are encouraged. There are several prizes available, including:

School prizes:

  • 10-capacity wall-mounted scooter rack
  • 10-capacity floor-mounted scooter rack

Individual prizes:

  • Mid-range hybrid bike with D-Lock and helmet
  • Micro brand scooter with D-Lock and helmet
  • 2 x D-Locks
  • 2 x Helmets

Further information:

  • One individual prize winner in each age category will automatically win a prize for their school
  • Runners-up in each age category will receive a D-Lock and helmet
  • Winners will be chosen by the Cleaner Air Team at Portsmouth City Council and announced w/c 2 November

Information about Clean Air Day can be found at www.cleanairday.org.uk.