On Thursday 21 June, PaddingtonNow BID took part in the UK’s largest air quality campaign, Clean Air Day.
The team identified and focused on the area surrounding the Station on Praed Street and the roads leading off as hotspot’s for ‘engine idling’, due to Taxi and Uber drivers waiting to drop off or pick up passengers.
Research shows that ‘engine idling’ is a significant contributor to local air pollution. It is less polluting to turn your engine off and restart it after a minute or longer than to leave your engine running. The team asked drivers to switch off their engine when stopping for 60 seconds of more.
They also spoke to a variety of other drivers and pedestrians, informing them of the benefits of clean air and the actions they can take to improve it such as:
- Give your car a day off – walk, cycle or take public transport to work or school, or work from home if you can.
- Discover the side streets – Use quieter streets when you’re on a bike or on foot to avoid polluted main roads.
- Go electric – Why not hire an electric car or taxi.
- Don’t be Idle – If you drive, turn off your engine when your vehicle is stationary and it is safe to do so.
The World Health Organisation and the UK Government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today. It causes heart and lung diseases, is linked to low birth weight and children’s lung development and many even contribute to mental health issues. Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK.
Find out a bit more about what the BID is doing to improve the air in Paddington here.