Councillors show support for Clean Air Day

Perth & Kinross Councillors showed their support for Clean Air Day by walking and cycling to their Council meeting at 2 High Street on 20 June, highlighting how healthy, low cost travel choices provides us all with cleaner air.

Thursday 21 June is Clean Air Day, on which people across the UK are committing to take action to reduce air pollution in their local communities. Most of Perth & Kinross is fortunate to have very clean air, but there are places on congested streets in Perth and on Crieff High Street where air pollution caused by traffic is a problem, and the Councillors' actions are part of wide-ranging activity to try to solve these problems. 

Air pollution is estimated to cause around 40,000 premature deaths each year in the UK, more than 20 times the number killed in road crashes. It can cause a range of long term health problems, and the very young, very old and those with health issues feel its effects the most.  

Among the Councillors involved was Lewis Simpson, who regularly travels in from Scone on his bike. He said, "Cycling from Scone only takes me 15 minutes - it's quicker than driving as I don't spend time sitting in traffic and can get straight to the front door of 2 High Street or anywhere else in town. Plus, it's one of the easiest ways for me to keep fit and healthy".

Councillor Willie Wilson, who is a strong advocate of public transport, said, "I don't drive and so I use the bus and walk for all of my Council business and day to day journeys. Perth has a good bus network and is a safe and pleasant place to walk around, so the car doesn't always need to be the first option".

Councillor Peter Barrett tested out an electric bike, courtesy of Perth Bike Station. Councillor Barrett said, "I was delighted to try out an e-bike today - it's a fantastic and fun form of sustainable transport and gives you that little extra help to get around on some of the hillier parts of Perth & Kinross. I'd recommend that people give one a try".

Mark Sinclair of Perth Bike Station said, "Electric bikes help more people get to more places by bike - we're finding that they're becoming really popular as people get the go-anywhere benefit of a bike with a bit of help for the hills. But conventional bikes are still the best option for most people, being so easy for many journeys. The Bike Station has a great range of reconditioned second-hand bikes too, so offers a cheap way to get a decent bike."

Councillors were joined by Council staff who had cycled into work and were making use of the new CycleHoop bike rack that has recently been installed in the High Street. This is available for anyone to use and, with space for 10 bikes, shows how many bikes can be fitted into the space taken up by just one car.

Supporting Clean Air Day is part of a wide range of activities being led by the Council and its partners to improve the opportunities for people to make low emission travel choices.  To find out alternatives to the car for your local journeys, visit the On the Go webpage.