Wandsworth people make Clean Air Day pledges

Published: 16 June 2017

Yesterday (June 15) was Clean Air Day, and people across the borough pledged to do their bit to reduce air pollution.

National Clean Air Day is about raising awareness of pollution issues, supporting people to reduce the amount of pollution they create, giving them tips  how to avoid pollution and helping them work together to improve air quality.

Wandsworth Council supported the event, and has a package of measures already in place to reduce air pollution (see below). Yesterday it asked residents, schools and businesses to pledge to do their bit.

In Tooting High Street, the council’s volunteer Air Quality Champions along with environmental health officers were out collecting pledges. Meanwhile in Putney High Street they were being collected by Ambassadors from the town centre Business Improvement District.

They handed out information leaflets and encouraged people and business owners to pledge to take one simple step to reduce pollution, such as walking or cycling to work or school instead of driving.

Town Hall staff were also asked to make a pledge and take a selfie

See the pledge selfies on the council’s Facebook page.

The council’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook went along to a special assembly at High View Primary School in Battersea to teach students about air pollution, how it can be reduced, and how people can reduce their exposure to it. 

Afterwards at pick-up time the council’s environmental health officers were outside the school urging parents not to leave their car engines idling while they wait for their children.

Cllr Cook said:

“We supported the first National Clean Air Day because it’s a good way to raise awareness and get the message out that there are simple steps people can take both to help improve the quality of London‘s air and to reduce their exposure to pollution. Meanwhile as a council we will continue to do all we can, including ongoing work in our schools to educate the next generation of Londoners about this vital issue.”

Find out more about Clean Air Day here

Read the council’s information leaflet

Volunteer to become an Air Quality Champion

Measures the council is taking to tackle air pollution include:

  • Lobbying City Hall for an outright ban on all diesel buses along Putney High Street and a ban on day-time deliveries on Putney High Street.
  • A rolling programme of environmental theatre productions in local schools to teach children how their travel choices affect air quality.
  • Helping schools develop School Travel Plans which reduce the number of cars used on the school run through initiatives like 'walking buses' and car pools.
  • Providing free vehicle emission checks in public places like supermarket car parks.
  • Championing car clubs which dramatically reduce total vehicle use and take older, more polluting cars off the road. Wandsworth now has the highest car club membership in London.
  • Promoting cycling and investing in the borough’s cycle network. Wandsworth now has the fastest growing cycling rate in the country according to Government statistics.
  • Free bike safety lessons for children and adults to give more residents the confidence and skills they need to start cycling.
  • A free airTEXT messaging service warns residents when high pollution levels are forecast.
  • Making the borough more pedestrian friendly including projects in Clapham Junction, Southfields, Putney and Earlsfield.
  • Lobbying for higher capacity rail, bus, riverbus and tube services so more residents can switch from cars to public transport.
  • The council's Smarter Driving campaign encourages drivers to take simple steps to reduce their emissions, like inflating tyres. 

For more information about the work being carried out locally to improve air quality, visit the council’s website.