Coun­cil should set a green ex­am­ple

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - ERIC HEARN, Cleve­land Road

THERE is grow­ing con­cern over the dan­ger­ously high lev­els of pol­lu­tion in ar­eas of Lon­don.

Hilling­don res­i­dents are par­tic­u­larly at risk from this pol­lu­tion given that Heathrow Air­port to­gether with the M25, M40 and M4 mo­tor­ways all lie within its area.

The Lon­don Mayor’s own fig­ures on this show that around 4,200 Lon­don­ers die pre­ma­turely caused by poor air qual­ity.

Clearly some­thing needs to be done to re­duce the high lev­els of road traf­fic as it is ve­hi­cle ex­haust emis­sions which are the main cause of the pol­lu­tion.

I of­ten re­flect on this dur­ing my morn­ing walk to catch the tube at Uxbridge Sta­tion.

This takes me past Brunel Univer­sity, Uxbridge High School, (UHS), and Hilling­don’s Civic Cen­tre.

Pass­ing each of them I see a stream of cars driven by staff en­ter­ing their sites. Each of these cars has only ever has one oc­cu­pant.

All three of these es­tab­lish­ments are funded by taxpayers. As such their man­age­ment is sub­ject to con­trol and in­flu­ence by gov­ern­ment, be it at lo­cal or na­tional level.

It be­hoves our Lo­cal Coun­cil to take a lead in tack­ling this se­ri­ous is­sue. As a first step I would like to see them im­ple­ment mea­sures to limit the num­ber of cars be­ing used by their own staff.

In ad­di­tion to un­der­ground park­ing space within the Civic Cen­tre Coun­cil the staff use a nearby multi-storey car park which has ca­pac­ity for 500 cars. There must surely be scope for re­duc­ing this huge num­ber of cars trav­el­ling to the cen­tre each work­ing day.

One way to achieve a re­duc­tion would be to in­tro­duce a car shar­ing scheme. Another ap­proach might be to in­cen­tivise staff to travel to work ei­ther by public trans­port or cy­cling.

Sim­i­lar mea­sures should also be adopted by UHS and Brunel and Hilling­don Coun­cil, who have in­flu­ence on the man­age­ment of both, should be urg­ing both of them to do so.

I look for­ward, per­haps naively, to a time when, on my walk to work, I see fewer cars clog­ging up the streets, in a cleaner en­vi­ron­ment.

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