Get involved – National Clean Air Day in Aberdeen

A campaign has been launched as part of National Clean Air Day on June 15 where agencies across the UK are highlighting the dangers and health implications of air pollution.

In Aberdeen, a showcase and information event is being held to encourage residents to help combat the impact of poor air quality in the city.

The event will focus on how air quality can be improved and will include information on the use of cleaner transport such as walking, cycling, public transport, car clubs and low carbon vehicles.

Aberdeen City Council, Nestrans and the Getabout partnership are among some of the partners hosting the event on St Nicolas Street between 10am and 4pm on June 15.

Aberdeen City Council Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Convener Councillor Yvonne Allan said: “Many people would be shocked to hear about the significant health issues that affect residents’ everyday – issues that could be alleviated by cleaner, purer air.

“Did you know that car drivers can be exposed to twice the air pollution as pedestrians?

“Did you know air pollution increases the risk of getting lung cancer and contributes to about 1 in 13 cases?

“Poor air quality is not a problem that can be solved by any one organisation – the Council alone cannot make the air we breathe less polluted. All of us must look to our own lifestyles and particularly to the way we use our cars.

“The air quality of this city has implications for us all and I would encourage anyone who can to meet with the teams at Thursday’s (June 15) event to find out how little changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference.”

Aberdeen City Council has a number of action plans and strategies to tackle carbon emissions with a particular focus on transport as the main cause of air pollution.

The council’s Air Quality Action Plan includes many initiatives such as improving cycling and walking provisions, pedestrianisation, improved traffic management and reduced car dependency.

The Aberdeen Local Transport Strategy 2016-2021 set out a vision for a sustainable transport system while the City Centre Masterplan considers how air quality can be improved in the City Centre by increasing the amount of space for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as bus only areas.

The creation of shared space on Broad Street will improve the air quality throughout the City Centre.

The award winning Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project, a £21 million showcase which has brought together funders and partners from the public and private sectors, has delivered Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses as well as a maintenance facility and hydrogen production and refuelling station open to the public in the city.

Together with the Powering Aberdeen sustainable energy action plan, it is part of a commitment to reducing emissions through low carbon vehicles and using alternative sources of energy.

The national clean air campaign aims to encourage residents to leave their car at home or carpool where possible, to make sure engines are turned off while the vehicle is not moving and is encouraging businesses to encourage and support staff and visitors to their building to use active modes of transport such as cycling and walking or public transport.

Air pollution causes up to 28,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, according to national statistics.

For more information on Clean Air Day, please visit www.cleanairday.org.uk/scotland>.