Every year, air pollution claims thousands of lives in the UK. Recognising the urgency of the issue, Portsmouth City Council is supporting Clean Air Day.

This year, to mark Clean Air Day Portsmouth City Council is working with schools to take part in sharing information with pupils and parents to encourage a healthier journey to school, simply by walking or wheeling and if parents need to drive – switching their engines off when stationary. Solutions like this to air pollution can also have wider benefits to health, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and mental ill health.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, cabinet member for transport, said: “Clean Air Day serves as a powerful reminder that improving air quality benefits not only our physical health and the environment but also our mental and brain health. I hope the new “cough cough engine off” banners that are being given to some schools will also serve as a regular reminder to switch engines off when stationary as this is an easy way to reduce the pollution around schools”.

All year round the council is focused on creating cleaner, greener and better-connected travel options. This year, residents will be able to access additional Electric Vehicle charging points, more Beryl shared bikes right across the city, and have affordable access to a vehicle without owning one via the Enterprise Car Club. And that’s not all! This summer the Park and Ride bus service to the beach will be returning to help reduce the number of polluting vehicles traveling through the city. And next year, zero-emissions buses will be introduced, a first for Portsmouth! Stay up to date on Portsmouth climate change news by subscribing to climate action update emails. Creating cleaner air and addressing the climate emergency is a top priority for the council.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, cabinet member for transport, said: “Any amount of pollution can be damaging to our health, but the more that you are exposed to, the bigger the risk and the larger the effect it can have on you and your family. I am hopeful that more residents, visitors, and businesses will start increase their usage of cleaner transport options in Portsmouth. By choosing these alternatives to polluting vehicles, we can collectively reduce air pollution and enhance the health and well-being of everyone in our city. We can’t erase air pollution, but we can act to lower it.”

Five top tips for improving health and wellbeing by reducing air pollution:

  1. Walk, cycle, and scoot more, avoiding polluting traffic by using back s
  2. Minimize burning at home unless it is your only heat source and use eco-design accredited appliances with “ready to burn” materials.
  3. Drivers can switch off your engine when stationary or if you are a passenger remind the driver.
  4. Report idling vehicles to help the council carry out targeted work in hotspot areas. Report it at portsmouth.gov.uk/report
  5. Learn more about supporting Clean Air Day, visit the Global Action Plan website, offering resources for schools, health professionals, campaign groups, and individuals.

For more information on cleaner air day in Portsmouth visit, cleanerairportsmouth.co.uk/home/clean-air-day