Take part in Clean Air Day 2019

We are marking Clean Air Day 2019 on Thursday 20 June through a host of exciting events across campus … and you are invited to get involved!

Clean Air Day 2019 logo. June 2019

Free electric bike trials, Bike Hub promotions, an air quality monitoring walk and free breakfasts for ‘active commuters’ are all part of this year’s activities at Leeds.

We will be collaborating with our city-wide partners to raise awareness of air pollution and promote lower-emitting modes of transport, as part of the national campaign.

Leeds was highlighted as one of the five worst cities in the UK for air pollution in 2017. The report stated that, unless drastic changes were made, Leeds would exceed legal EU limits of air quality in 2020.

Air pollution is considered the largest environmental risk to our health. Recent research from Leeds, amongst others, has shown it is causing an increase in lung and heart conditions, especially in children, as we inhale a mix of gases and particles that can pass into our blood and be transported around the body.

Leeds scientists are leading a research network of northern universities to find new ways to rapidly decarbonise UK transport. And we were one of the first organisations to sign the Clean Air Leeds pledge, demonstrating our commitment to improving air quality in the city.

The pledge committed us to encourage behavioural change at both organisational and individual levels. However, the annual Travel Survey has now revealed there has been a slight decrease in the number of colleagues commuting to work sustainably. Sustainable forms of transport are classed as walking, cycling, using public transport and car sharing.

Programme of events

We are running a programme of events on Clean Air Day 2019 to encourage colleagues to positively change their commuter habits, to help reduce the impact of air pollution across the city. Fittingly, this year’s campaign coincides with Staff Healthy Week 2019 (17-21 June), featuring a programme of activities enabling colleagues to focus on their health and wellbeing.

Clean Air Day 2019 events include:

  • a free breakfast in the refectory for active commuters – just turn up on the morning wearing your active wear to claim a free breakfast, on a first come, first served basis
  • electric bike trials – find out for yourself how a little assistance can help you tackle those Yorkshire hills, with trials available from the Bike Hub all afternoon (book a 20-minute slot)
  • Bike Hub services, from noon to 4pm – the hub will be open as usual to attend to your cycling enquiries regarding maintenance, hire bikes or route planning
  • an air quality monitoring walk around campus to find pollution hotspots and to understand the research taking place as part of our Living Lab programme (book your place); and
  • Ask a Scientist – postgraduate researchers from the School of Earth and Environment will be holding a stall in Briggate from 10am to 4pm, as part of Leeds City Council’s awareness-raising event, showcasing their research around air quality monitoring.

See the Sustainable Transport webpage for further information about Clean Air Day 2019 and what Leeds does to promote green travel.

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