Thursday, 3 May 2012

Broomhill air quality symposium gives us lots to think about...

The Air Pollution symposium organised by Broomhill Forum on 21st April was a thought-provoking event that highlighted traffic as the most likely cause of poor air quality in our area. A most interesting presentation from Dr Margaret Bell of Newcastle University showed how the emissions from cars and trucks depend on the traffic flow but also how they are driven; all of us can take action to reduce emissions if we drive more smoothly, avoid too much braking and acceleration, and switch the engine off when we are stationary rather than leaving the engine idling. Or, of course, get out of our cars altogether. Prof Ben Hamilton Baillie gave a fascinating presentation on 'shared space', a new concept about how cars and pedestrians can share public space rather than segregating cars and people. Other speakers from the council, the bus companies, NHS public health etc gave different perspectives on the air pollution problem, its impacts, and how it can be tackled. The conference held group discussions to come up with potential solutions for the situation in Broomhill, both in the short and the medium term. The Forum will produce a report on the conference and will coordinate the response.

1 comment:

  1. As a cyclist I increasingly notice the sound of engines starting up as the lights change and cars start to move off from junctions. This I suppose is mainly cars auto-starting and has to be a good thing (my own car is 16 years old as I rarely use it, so pre-dates such innovations) but I still think people could be walking, cycling and using public transport more!