Tackle unnecessary car journeys
THERE is increasing concern over the dangerously high levels of air pollution in London and the south east.
The London Mayor’s own statistics on the impact of this pollution show that around 4,200 Londoners die prematurely due to poor air quality.
Hillingdon residents are particularly at risk from this pollution given that Heathrow Airport and the M25, M40 and M4 motorways all pass within its boundaries. More needs to be done to tackle this problem and a good way to start would be to reduce the number cars on our roads as it is vehicle exhausts which are the main source of pollution.
I reflect on this during my morning walk to catch the tube at Uxbridge Station. The walk takes me past Brunel University, Uxbridge High School, (UHS), and Hillingdon’s Civic Centre. Walking past I see a continuous stream of cars driven by staff arriving for work. Each car only ever has one occupant, (I have yet to see one with more), which is obviously wasteful and a source of pollution and traffic congestion.
Hillingdon Council should take a lead in tackling these unnecessary car journeys. As a first step they could limit the number of cars travelling to the centre each working day. One way to do this would be to introduce a car sharing scheme. They could also provide incentives to staff to travel to work by public transport or bicycle.
Similar measures should also be adopted by UHS and Brunel. The council, who have an input to the management of both the School and the University, should urge them to do so.
Some will argue such steps are only a ‘drop in the ocean’ and would have negligible impact on pollution
in the Borough. My response is that we have to start somewhere if we are serious about tackling this major problem.