Councillors, transport providers and passers by come together as BID marks Clean Air Day

21 June 2019

Politicians, transport providers, health advisers and members of the public mingled in Birmingham city centre as Colmore BID marked Clean Air Day 2019.

Clean Air Day is an annual occurrence that forms part of a UK wide campaign to tackle air pollution by encouraging people  and society as a whole to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviour, and consists of a series of awareness raising events taking place up and down the country.

For this year’s Clean Air Day, which took place on Thursday, June 20,  Colmore BID  got together with Birmingham City Council, Brompton Bicycles, Midland Metro Alliance, National Express West Midlands, Public Health England and West Midlands Railway to provide advice and information about the movement to improve our air quality at a pop-up stand  situated at St Philip’s Cathedral square.

Councillors Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport & Environment at Birmingham City Council and Kath Hartley, Chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Transport Delivery Committee, also dropped by to lend their support and encouragement. They were joined  by Paul Fielding of Brewin Dolphin, who heads up Colmore BID”s Accessible & Connected Working Group, which specialises in transportation issues within the District.

Attendees from each organisation were also on hand to offer advice on lifestyle changes that can help tackle the problem of air pollution and information around various sustainability initiatives like the city council’s draft  Walking and Cycling Strategy, which likewise opened  on June 20, as well as providing cycling offers and other giveaways to encourage more use of public transport.

Paul Fielding from Colmore BID”s Accessible & Connected Working Group said:

“As a Green Travel District, we always celebrate Clean Air Day and this year we invited partners to gather together to promote accessible and environmentally friendly ways to commute to work and move around the city.

“Our hope is that we can gradually change people’s attitudes and their approach to travel and that they adopt other means of sustainable behaviour. After all, we all want to breathe clean air.”

Colmore BID’s Clean Air Day event was a great success with passers by taking a keen interest in goings on, particularly in light of recent news that the proposed Clean Air Zone charging scheme aimed at reducing air pollution in Birmingham city centre, which was set to be introduced in January 2020, has been delayed by six months.

Councillors Waseem Zaffar said:

“I’m hugely grateful to Colmore BID for putting on this wonderful engagement opportunity around the important changes we need to make to ensure that Birmingham becomes a city where breathing clean air is a reality.”

Councillor Kath Hartley, added::

“Clean Air Day is a great opportunity for us all to get involved in making the air cleaner and healthier.

“The WMCA and Transport for West Midlands are working hard to make it easier for people to leave their cars at home. This includes helping operators to upgrade bus fleets to the latest ultra-clean engine standards, expanding our tram and rail networks, and introducing new cycling and walking initiatives.

“As well as improving the quality of the air we breathe, fewer car journeys will reduce traffic congestion, which already costs this region £2 billion each year.”