Henley in Transition have launched a Clean Air for Henley campaign.
They are calling on people to change their behaviour by taking the bus, walking or cycling and to consider lower emission cars when looking at replacing their existing vehicles. They are also encouraging people to turn off their engines when stationery and asking shops to join the national ‘Close the Door’ campaign which has been adopted by many of the big national retailers to reduce the pollution inside shops.
In their leaflet, Clean Air for Henley, it states that “diesel vehicles have been promoted as “better for the planet” – and it is true that diesels produce less CO2 per mile than petrol engines – but they also emit damaging particulates. Petrol engines emit these as well but filters are easier to implement and maintain on petrol engines so in general petrol vehicles produce a lot less air pollution.”
“The most damaging particles are very very small (Less than 2.5 millionths of a metre diameter). If you could string them into a necklace it would take nearly 100 to go round a single human hair. These tiny particles are extremely damaging to everyone’s health but particularly for the young. When you breathe them in they stick to your airways and your lungs and get into your blood stream. Children who regularly breath particulate laden air can lose as much as 20% of their lung capacity by the time they are eight years old. At one time a head teacher would expect just one or two children to bring inhalers to school. Nowadays there are dozens.”
“Health effects are not limited to respiratory problems. Links have been demonstrated in brain development, damage to unborn children, accelerated ageing of lungs, Asthma, heart diseases, Bronchitis Cancer and Dementia which costs the NHS millions. Doctors, the Lung Foundation and Heart Charities are calling for a ban. Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens are banning diesel vehicles. Six British cities have been given the go-ahead to create clean air zones in which drivers of diesel cars could face congestion charges.”
A trial leaflet drop has taken place by putting it under car wipers in Greys Road car park. A full Henley household leaflet drop is currently being considered by the Henley in Transition group.
David Dickie from Henley in Transition said, “Give the bus a try. While our buses are old and pretty polluting at the moment – if enough people use them we could hope for cleaner gas powered or even electric buses in the future. We aren’t asking that you abandon your diesel car right now, but if you drive one then, when it comes to change your vehicle, consider which fuel choice you make. There are early indications that the value of used diesel cars is falling and that petrol vehicles are starting to command a premium so changing early may make financial sense.”
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