Workers in Leeds and beyond are being urged to ditch their cars and pull on their trainers to mark Clean Air Day on Thursday 21st June.
From next Monday, employees of the non-for-profit organization will be giving up their cars as they aim to raise awareness about air quality issues in Leeds and promote the use of greener transport in the city. This will culminate with a mass run to work on Thursday 21st June, in which they hope to get the whole of Leeds involved.
According to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), around 40,000 deaths in the UK are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution each year. Emissions from car, vans and lorries are responsible for much of this pollution.
The health problems caused by air pollution have huge financial implications impacting upon our health services, businesses and the individuals suffering from the related illnesses. In the UK, RCP estimate that these costs add up to more than £20 billion a year.
Tristan Batley-Kyle, Head of Events at Run For All, said: “Air pollution in the city is an issue we all recognise. It’s hard to think that one person can make a difference but leaving your car on the drive a few days a week, it’s good for the environment and it’s good for your health. We’re inviting everyone in Leeds to join us in our pledge to run to work on Thursday 21st June.”
“It’s a challenge for sure, but run-commuting is great way to get to and from work. You’re effectively training and getting fit in dead time. You’re also not sat bumper to bumper in some traffic jam!”
Run For All are encouraging people to share their Clean Air Day stories and will be holding a competition on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The best run to work selfie post on Clean Air Day will win a VIP place at the Asda Foundation Leeds 10K on Sunday 8th July. To enter, runners will need to tag @RunForAll and use the hashtags #CleanAirDay and #RunToWork.
Leeds City Council are asking residents to make similar pledges on their commitment to tackling air pollution and have launched a #5MileLeeds challenge.
Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for resources and sustainability said:
“Clean Air Day offers a great opportunity for people to travel into work via a more sustainable method and certainly chimes with our own #5MileLeeds challenge asking people to reduce car mileage.
“I look forward to plenty of people run-commuting in the lead up and on the day!”