National Clean Air Action Day

Bicycle with wind turbines behind

The first ever National Clean Air Day takes place this Thursday (15 June) and Birmingham City Council is calling on you to do something to help Brum breathe. The following paragraphs are from city council, but the question is, will they be taking practical action to encourage behavioural change, like other cities do? Other cities have car-free days, when the city streets are simply closed to motor vehicles, and longer term have announced that the most polluting vehicles will be banned. Whole countries, such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany are decades ahead of us, with substantial, good quality cycling infrastructure. Cycles are the most efficient and least polluting form of transport ever devised by humankind, and they are affordable and usable by almost everyone. I'm sure many Push Bikes members will be out on their bikes on Thursday, and in doing so you'll be showing the city council what it and national government should be doing; not talking, educating, and waffling, but making space for cycling. They have been making a start, but they really need to go for it. The evidence both here and abroad shows that cycling as transport works.

Air pollution is a serious public health issue affecting everyone who visits, lives and works in Birmingham and this means we all have a responsibility to help tackle it together. The video below shows why we should all do something to help reduce air pollution.

In order to raise awareness of this important issue, and what can be done to tackle it, we are supporting the first National Clean Air Day on Thursday 15 June - this year is very much about getting people to make simple pledges for something they will do differently to help reduce air pollution.

There are lots of free resources available on the National Clean Air Day website. Below are some further suggestions which would take very little of your time but could make a big difference.

  • Make a pledge yourselves to do something different on National Clean Air Day - preferably replacing a car journey with walking, cycling or public transport
  • Use whatever powers you have to get your staff and colleagues to do the same - an instruction would be great, but consider incentives (or disincentives!) e.g. "Mr White will buy cakes for anyone who doesn't drive to work";
  • Use whatever channels at your disposal to promote the National Clean Air Day messages within your organisations (as per the toolkit which contains posters, pledge cards, social media graphics etc.);
  • Whatever you can tell us about how 'green' your fleet is (i.e. use of electric or hybrid vehicles) - this could also form pledges and/or social media posts;
  • Drop in at one of the events on 15 June -to show support, make a pledge or pose for a photo (St Philips Square on Colmore Row 11am-3pm, University of Birmingham outside Chancellor's Court 11am-2pm);
  • Whatever you are able to do concerning the above PLEASE tell us about it and promote on social media using #NationalCleanAirDay and #BrumBreathes.

For more information about National Clean Air Day events, follow this link.