We’re supporting Clean Air Day

Barnsley Council is supporting National Clean Air Day on Thursday 16 June and reminding everyone how we can play our part in improving air quality in our communities.

This year, the focus of the campaign is on how air pollution damages every organ in your body and can contribute to conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, dementia and strokes. Residents from across the borough have been asked to make a pledge and make a change.

In Barnsley, we’re always looking for ways to reduce pollution and create a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable Barnsley and reach our goal of a Net-Zero Barnsley by 2045.

Barnsley’s Air Quality Action Plan, aims to reduce industrial, domestic and road transport emissions. This includes plans to: introduce emission standards for buses; measures to reduce traffic congestion; encourage walking and cycling and encourage the uptake of low-emission vehicles and alternative fuels.

We’ve shifted to replacing our vehicles with fully electric options where possible. Electric vehicles now make up 15 percent of our fleet with more due to enter service soon including a fully-electric refuse collection vehicle. We also have several hybrid vehicles, and we have recently been trialling Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil as an alternative fuel for some of our diesel vehicles. Early results have identified that this has reduced tailpipe carbon emissions dramatically, running the engine more efficiently, creating cleaner local air and offering improvements to our employee's wellbeing.

We’re also currently carrying out a public consultation on our new Transport Strategy for Barnsley. It outlines our commitment to improving transport options for every member of our community and to reducing the negative impacts of travel on our borough. You can visit Barnsley.gov.uk/TransportProjects to take part.

 In Barnsley, people can take steps towards cleaner air by:

  • Turning your car engine off and not sitting stationary for long periods with the engine running. Idling is particularly harmful to vulnerable people, such as children who have developing lungs. Clean Air Day helps to spread general good advice on improving air quality, such as walking or cycling to work, car-sharing or taking public transport. You can also reduce your exposure to air pollution by walking on side streets rather than busy roads.
  • Walking, cycling or scooting and encouraging others to do so in your local. Barnsley’s Active Travel Hub, located in the Barnsley interchange, offers recycle bike scheme and options to hire a bike or make use of our 30 e-bikes. Residents have a number of support options which can help them consider how they travel to school, work, or even just nipping to the shop.
  • Consider using a quieter, less polluted side street when you’re on your bike, scooter or on foot to reduce your exposure to traffic on busy streets.

Cllr James Higginbottom, Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment and Highways, said: “We’re proud to be supporting Clean Air Day once again as we want to create a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable Barnsley for everyone to enjoy.

“Clean Air Day is a great opportunity to celebrate all that our borough is doing to improve the quality of the air we breathe.

“Everyone can play their part to clean up our air; not only to combat climate change but also to protect our health and borough for future generations – so why not make a clean air pledge today?”

To find out what you can do to help reduce air pollution and get involved in National Clean Air Day visit www.cleanairday.org.uk.

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