June 22, 2018
Wandsworth residents, schoolchildren and businesses all did their bit yesterday to make Clean Air Day the most successful yet in Wandsworth.
National Clean Air Day is about raising awareness of pollution issues, supporting people to reduce the amount of pollution they create and working together to improve air quality.
In Putney the council worked with the Putney Business Improvement District to give local people information on air pollution and how they can help prevent it. Another event will be held tomorrow (Saturday) in Tooting between 10am and 1pm to encourage people to leave their cars at home. Council air quality officers along with ‘mad scientists’ will be in the town centre outside TKMaxx to discuss local air quality concerns, handing out information leaflets, giving out goodies and giving residents a chance to ride a smoothie bike and make their own fruit smoothie to take away.
During the last two weeks of June, seven borough schools will be getting visits to teach young people about pollution using fun games and theatre workshops. Parents will be asked not to leave engines idling while they wait to pick up their children – Wandsworth is one of 15 local authorities taking part in the Vehicle Idling Action Campaign. There are also several project in the pipeline to install living green walls outside borough schools.
Volunteers from Multiplex Global, one of the developers in Nine Elms, helped air quality officers on Wednesday to provide smoothie bike rides to children at one school and Waitrose in Southside donated the fruit for this event and others.
In Nine Elms local Brownies and Guides got together on Tuesday at the ROSE Centre to see a performance from Big Foot Productions explaining climate change, waste and pollution and they got the chance to take part in presenting their own adverts.
Nine Elms has a dedicated Wandsworth Council air quality officer to ensure that construction sites in the area are employing best practice over reducing emissions and pollution. Wandsworth is also an active member of the London Low Emission Construction Partnership which aims to reduce construction sites’ impact on air quality. Additional street sweeping has been introduced along Nine Elms Lane and Battersea Park Road to help reduce levels of pollution.
The riverside walk is being extended to give visitors to the US Embassy and other Nine Elms landmarks a green alternative. The stretch of the Thames Path from Heathwall Pumping Station to St George’s Tower near Vauxhall is now complete and the riverfront has also opened up at Nine Elms Pier and Tideway Dock, around the Riverlight development.
The council is also working to encourage the use of sustainable transport, such as creating an extensive electric car charging infrastructure, establishing a network of car clubs and bike hire services and bringing the Northern Line to Battersea.
The council’s air quality spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said:
“It was good to see so many people taking part in Clean Air Day – especially our young people. The day is a good way to raise awareness, but we know that it’s important that we support clean air initiatives all year round.
“If you’re in Tooting tomorrow, please leave your car at home and chat to our officers to find out more about mitigating the affects of air pollution and what you can do to improve air quality in your area.
“Meanwhile we will continue our work with schools, our proactive work to reduce pollution in Putney and Nine Elms by working with contractors and lobbying for cleaner buses, and our efforts to encourage people to choose greener transport options”