Derby City Council is urging local residents, businesses, schools and visitors to the city, to get involved in the UK’s first ever National Clean Air Day that takes place this Thursday 15th June.

Working with Environmental Charity Global Action Plan a number of events will be taking place across the city, designed to raise awareness of the effects of air pollution on a person’s health, and how simple actions can reduce exposure to air pollution, and improve the quality of air around us.

Local people are encouraged to join staff at Intu Derby from 10.00am, and make personal pledges to take action to reduce air pollution on the day, including leaving the car at home, switching car engines off when stationary, and walking their children to school, as well as taking part in a virtual reality experience to see air pollution in a new way.  There will also be representatives from the city’s Car Club Co-Wheels, as well as bus operators Trent barton and Arriva Midlands.

Additionally, information about the health impact of air pollution and how people can reduce their exposure to it will be available to staff and visitors at the Royal Derby Hospital from 8.00am to 2.00pm on the day.

School children at Firs Estate Primary School will also be taking part in various activities on the day starting with a walking school bus with Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s Freddie the Falcon, and The Right Worshipful, the Mayor of the City of Derby Councillor Jon Whitby.  Children will be encouraged to continue to walk to school after the event, and will be issued with pedometers.  The class who walks to school the most times over a two week period will receive free tickets to see Derbyshire County Cricket Club play in the NatWest T20 Blast fixture on Tuesday 25th June.

Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection, Councillor Asaf Afzal said:

“In Derby, we have made it our priority to reduce pollution levels and improve air quality in the city.  Air pollution is a serious public health issue, and we all have a part to play.  Small changes like walking to school and changing the way we travel to work will all contribute, but it has to be a city-wide effort.  We want to encourage people to think about the positive changes they can make in their daily routines, including, walking, cycling or using public transport instead of driving, and hope the day inspires everyone to take positive steps”

The Mayor of Derby, Councillor Jon Whitby added

“We owe it to ourselves and all our fellow citizens, to consider our air quality.  If you can make a change in how you commute or get to school, it will have benefits beyond your own health”

Derby is one of five cities across the country mandated by the Government to introduce a Clean Air Zone by 2020.  Consultation with key stakeholders will take place over the coming months.