A communications campaign focusing on the health impact of air pollution and encouraging fewer car journeys has been launched this week in Bath.
The poster campaign, which has been rolled out by Bath & North East Somerset council as part of its BreATHe air quality initiative will see imaging displayed on buses and at poster sites across the city to promote the use of more sustainable forms of transport.
According to the council more than 12,000 people in the borough suffer from asthma, a condition made worse by high levels of air pollution. Diesel and older petrol vehicles have been identified as the biggest contributors to NO2 pollution in Bath.
Featuring imagery depicting children suffering from respiratory conditions, the messaging on the posters encourages city residents to cut NO2 emissions through one of a number of steps.
This includes reducing the number of car trips they make when alternatives are available, turning their engine off while stationary, considering a lower-emission vehicle, using public transport, walking or cycling, or using the city’s park & ride service.
Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for neighbourhood and development, said: “You often can’t see it or smell it but there are areas of Bath and North East Somerset that suffer from unacceptable levels of air pollution caused by exhaust emissions.
“We want to bring clean air to Bath for the sake of our own and future generations’ health. The aim of the campaign is to make us all aware that we can help cut pollution by changing our travel habits. Lots of people making small changes can have a positive impact on air quality.â€?
Options are currently being considered for the introduction of a charging Clean Air Zone in the centre of Bath, which could see pre-Euro 4 petrol engines and pre-Euro 6 diesel engines charged to drive within the specified zone to address air pollution (see airqualitynews.com story).
Options being considered include a potential ‘Class B CAZ’ would see higher-emission buses, coaches, private hires, taxis and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) charged, or a ‘Class C CAZ’ which would extend a charge to include light goods vans.
A decision on the CAZ is expected to be made in December.
Councillor Mark Shelford, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “It is everyone’s responsibility to take action and we are asking people to think twice about jumping in their car when they could walk, scoot or cycle. We’re asking people to use public transport and also to seriously consider going low emission when they buy their next car, van or lorry. This is not just a local problem, air pollution is hitting the national headlines most days now and we all have a responsibility to take action.â€?