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Brits urged to ditch cars to combat air pollution

20 Jun 2017

Cycling and walking exposes people to less air pollution
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One in four families not comfortable cycling, says survey

12 Jun 2017

Traffic fears and uncertain weather are preventing families cycling
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Family is key to growing golf, says study

2 Jun 2017

Family crucial to grow golf
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57% growth for UK triathlon industry

30 May 2017

TIA publishes annual triathlon report
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UK public encouraged to walk just 20 minutes a day

24 May 2017

To improve physical and mental health
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Commonwealth Games failed to leave an active legacy

10 May 2017

New report finds little evidence of improvement
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91% of children don't get enough exercise, says YouGov

21 Mar 2017

Shocking stats reveal almost all children are failing to get enough exercise
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British people would prefer better sports facilities over Olympic glory

6 Mar 2017

Sports participation more important than Olympic success
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Spend a weekend camping to reset body clock

6 Feb 2017

The great outdoors could boost health

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Brits urged to ditch cars to combat air pollution

Posted on in Cycles News, Outdoor News

Coinciding with the UK's first ever National Clean Air Day (15th June), new research has shown that the general public would be willing to spend £1bn a year to tackle air pollution.

The National Clean Air Day saw local schools, hospitals and communities across UK cities run events and inspire other local residents to act for their own health and the health of local children.

cycling in the cityEight in 10 are concerned about how air pollution will impact on their health, according to Global Action Plan's survey, while 64% and 57% think that the Government and vehicle manufacturers should take action respectively.

The study shows that alarming misconceptions are leading Brits to unnecessarily expose their families to higher levels of air pollution. A King's College London experiment found that drivers can be exposed to nine times more pollution compared to a cyclist on a same route. Despite this worrying statistic, a staggering 96% of parents surveyed were unaware that pollution exposure was worse when driving compared to cycling or walking.

The issue has created a bigger health crisis, as people avoid physical activity due to their concerns about high levels of air pollution, Global Action Plan said. The survey found that 21% of respondents living in urban areas have avoided exercise, only adding to the vast obesity-related disease burden faced by the NHS.

A newly launched white paper from the Transport Research Laboratory has warned that "expectations must change" if we are to combat air pollution, and roads need to become "less geared towards individual car ownership."

TRL Academy ran a study with 80 Brighton-based volunteers, whereby e-bikes were loaned for a six-to-eight-week period. At the end of that trial three quarters of subjects were shown to have used their bikes to ride 15 to 20 miles per week on Brighton's mixed terrain, with an average of 20% less miles travelled by car.

Furthermore, 70% of participants said they would then be interested in an electric bike in the near future.

Discussing active travel, the paper says: "Not only do walking and cycling have obvious personal health benefits to the individual and contribute nothing to pollution levels, but active travel may also expose individuals to less pollution than sitting inside a vehicle. Work by Dr Barrett of King's College, who addressed the symposium, indicates that vehicles provide no protection against pollution. In fact, passengers carrying individual air quality monitors were exposed to higher pollution levels as passengers than when walking or cycling beside a busy road."

 

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