Greener Travel for Cleaner Air
When pollution levels are high we are exposed to harmful substances in the air we breathe, for those with respiratory allergies such as allergic asthma, you’re more likely to feel the effects of poor air quality.
Vehicle emissions are a significant source of air pollution and are likely to be higher later in the day when they have built up, also during peak commuting times. A European study even suggested that living near busy roads could be responsible for some 15-30% of all new cases of asthma in children.
Air pollution can affect people with asthma because:
- Pollutants can irritate your airways and trigger symptoms
- Particles found in dust, soot, smoke, and diesel fumes are small enough to get into your lungs, making your airways inflamed and swollen and bringing on symptoms
- Pollution can make you more sensitive and more likely to react to your usual asthma triggers (such as house dust mites, pollen, pets, moulds and fungi)
Visit our Allergy Awareness Week Page for tips on how to manage your asthma in high pollution and lots more information about conditions triggered by air quality.
Get involved and #travelgreen this week
This week we’re encouraging everyone across the nation to travel greener for cleaner air.
Share your #travelgreen selfies with us, on the bus, in your car share or at the train station to help raise awareness and encourage greener travel all year through.
Other ways you can help
Here are some things that you can do to help improve air quality through reducing vehicle emissions (and may also save you some money).
Doing your weekly food shop online will reduce separate car journeys to the supermarket. A lot of supermarkets also offer recommended time slots when a driver is already in your area, reducing the delivery journey time even further. Alternatively, you could do several smaller shops and walk to the supermarket.
Whenever you’re going in the same direction, why not car share? Not only will you help reduce emissions, you’ll save money on parking and petrol.
Take public transport
Trains, busses and trams are an excellent way to get around without taking the car, especially when travelling to city centres where parking is restricted and often expensive, or congestion charges may be in place. There are now a number of apps you can use to plan your journey and check live arrival time updates, even for many bus services.
Plan your journey
Take the most fuel efficient route using a free route planning app or a Sat Nav, avoiding roadworks and high traffic. Keeping windows closed.
Check your tyre pressures
Properly inflated tyres improve fuel efficiency. Each 5% of under-inflation translates into a 1% decrease in fuel efficiency
Choose a hybrid car
If you’re planning on buying or renting a new car, considering a Hybrid would reduce your fuel consumption, costing you less, and release less harmful emissions of gas.
However, if you’re willing to invest more into helping the environment, an electric car would be an even better choice for a cheap run and zero-emissions.
Did you know…
In London, TFL have several charge schemes in place to reduce pollution in the city.
The Congestion Charge was introduced in 2003 and is a daily charge for driving your vehicle within the charging zone between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday. All vehicles are subject to this charge with the exception of registered taxis, busses, two wheel motorcycles, emergency services and vehicles used by disabled people exempt from vehicle tax.
Low Emission Zones were introduced in 2008 by TFL to encourage heavy polluting diesel vehicles driving in central London to become cleaner.
The scheme enforces a daily charge on vehicles that don’t meet the LEZ emissions standards within most of Greater London 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Cameras read the number plate and check it against a database of registered vehicles.
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone runs from midnight to midnight, 7 days a week, every day of the year, within the same area as the current Congestion Charging Zone.
All vehicles that don’t meet the minimum emissions standards will be subject to this charge.
Visit https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving if you’d like to find out more about these schemes.