Feb 01

Will Air Pollution Warnings change Parents’ behaviour?

We haven’t yet reached the end of the first month of 2018 yet the capital has reached  the legal limit for levels of NO2 for all of 2018, ironically in the same week that the Mayor of London announced he will be issuing alerts to schools during periods of high air pollution.

Last year, it took less than a week to breach this limit – so there is progress – yet there is clearly a long way to go. With air quality this poor, it really does require everyone to take measures to improve it – truly a matter of “Every Little Helps”.

The BBC broadcast “Fighting for Air” was released in early January, showing how the residents of King’s Heath in Birmingham took a series of measures on a single day in November to reduce emissions and so improve air quality. Traffic lights were re-phased, parking spaces were suspended by placing plants in them and the children at the local primary school used ‘pester power’ to reduce the number of them being dropped off and collected by car. Altogether, there was a remarkable 20% reduction in NO2 levels, which surprised everyone, including the scientists taking part in the programme.

Maintaining all these measures every day is clearly going to be a challenge – these sorts of lifestyle changes can take years – but there are technologies that are being developed which can help to reduce emissions right now. The programme showed how NOx emissions can be halved through better driving.

In line with this, services such as Tantalum’s Air.Car are being developed to advise on driving style. We believe that the parents in King’s Heath and the parents who are likely ot receive the Mayor’s high air pollution alerts will continue to want to do their part. Technology can help, for cars are not going to disappear – and just one of the easiest measures we need to take to improve air quality is drive them better.

So, services such as Tantalum’s Air.Car are being developed to advise on driving style. We believe that the parents in King’s Heath and the parents who will receive the Mayor of London’s high air pollution alerts will continue and want to do their part. Technology can help, for cars aren’t going to disappear – and just one of the measures we need to take to improve air quality is drive them better.

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