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Survey seeks to tackle Leicester transport pollution

Campaign group and university researchers collect data on transport habits in Leicester with aim of tackling air pollution in the city

A transport survey is being conducted in Leicester in order to find out what changes can be made to residents habits to reduce air pollution in the city.

Spearheaded by campaign group Leicester Friends of the Earth, the survey has been written by researchers from the University of Leicester and De Montfort University and looks at how people make their regular journeys to work, the shops or drop their children to school.

The survey will look at people's transport habits in Leicester, while the council  is set to fit nitrogen dioxide filters on 32 Arriva buses in the city

The survey will look at people’s transport habits in Leicester, while the council is set to fit nitrogen dioxide filters on 32 Arriva buses in the city

The campaign group is seeking to use date collected from the online survey to persuade people to choose a different mode of transport if they currently rely on their car.

According to campaigners, it is estimated that air pollution causes 250 premature deaths per year in Leicester and 90% of the pollution is nitrogen dioxide emitted from motor vehicles, of which 60% comes from heavy good vehicles (HGVs).

Furthermore, around 3% of the citys population or 9,000 people live in Leicesters Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

However, the city council has awarded a 500,000 government grant to fit nitrogen dioxide filtering equipment on 32 buses running through the city (see airqualitynews.com story).

Hannah Wakley, transport campaigner for Leicester Friends of the Earth, said: Air pollution harms people with asthma and causes heart attacks and cancer. We need to reduce the number of motor vehicles on our roads for the sake of our health but so many things put people off cycling, walking and using the bus. We want to find out how we can help people to change their travel habits.

Leicester Friends of the Earth are members of Healthy Air Leicester and Leicestershire, an alliance of local groups campaigning for action to reduce air pollution in the county.

Healthy Air Leicester was launched in September 2013, after campaigners claimed that the city has the worst air quality of anywhere in England and the ninth worst in the whole of Europe (see airqualitynews.com story).

The transport survey is available to complete online now.

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