Tackle un­nec­es­sary car jour­neys

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - ERIC HEARN Cleve­land Road

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.

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