Sheffield motorists encouraged to regularly check tyre pressure as part of council’s ‘Air Aware Sheffield’ campaign
Sheffield motorists are being urged by the city council to regularly check the pressure of their tyres in a bid to cut fuel consumption and boost the city’s air quality.
The council is encouraging drivers not to over-inflate their tyres as part of the Air Aware Sheffield campaign, launched last October, which seeks to raise public awareness of road traffic pollutants nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter PM10.
According to the council, checking tyre pressure “only takes a matter of minutesâ€? but could “have a huge effect on the city’s air qualityâ€? if every driver in the city did so, which would also save them money through reduced fuel consumption.
Like in a number of other UK cities, both national and European Union legal air quality limits for nitrogen dioxide are currently being breached in some parts of Sheffield.
The council said poor air quality has been estimated to account for up to 500 premature deaths per year in the city, with health costs of around £160m per year.
Sheffield city councillor Jayne Dunn – cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene – said: “Air quality is an absolutely vital issue for all of us here in Sheffield. Regardless of where people live in the city, or whether they are drivers, cyclists, walkers or bus users, each and every one of us can play an important part.
“Checking tyre pressure is something that it is all too easy to forget to do. But I would urge drivers who want to save money at the pumps – and be more Air Aware at the same time – to check regularly in order to ensure that their tyres are always inflated to the specified recommendations.
She added: “Over-inflating tyres can be dangerous too, as they have a lower grip, so look up the tyre pressures recommended in your car’s handbook, and make air pressure checks a regular habit.â€?
Part of the Air Aware Sheffield campaign has also involved asking drivers to leave their cars at home when possible to help improve air quality, speed up the commute and also encourage more cycling and walking.
Councillor Dunn added: “Small changes can really reduce air pollution and give better health to all of us. It would be great if everybody could use their cars a little less, and cycle or walk a little more. Even giving up the car just one day a week would make a huge difference – of around 20 per cent – and may even get people to work and school more quickly.â€?
Sheffield city council is also involved in an air quality conference taking place in the city next month, which is being hosted by the South Yorkshire clean air campaign Care4Air – a partnership of Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley councils.
The eighth ‘Clearer Future Conference – Air Quality in 2015’ will feature a key note presentation from King’s College London’s Environmental Research Group (ERG), Dr Ian Mudway, who is a lecturer in respiratory toxicology.
According to Care4Air, Dr Mudway will speak on his latest research focusing on chronic exposure to gaseous and particulate pollutants from road transport among children, having published more than 60 papers in relation to the subject.
Also speaking at the conference will be Healthy Air Campaign ambassador Clare Nasir, as well as Gavin Thomson from campaign group ClientEarth, who coordinates the Healthy Air Campaign.
The event takes place at the Hilton Sheffield hotel on March 25 2015. More information is available on the Care4Air website.