The Harrogate and District Green Party has written to Dr Lincoln Sargeant, the North Yorkshire Director of Public Health as follows:
“I’m writing to ask if you have issued recommendations to help people avoid and reduce air pollution in North Yorkshire.
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about the Bond End Air Quality Management Area in Knaresborough but very little action has been taken.
Crucially, it seems that members of the public have very little idea about the problem and what they could do to minimise their impact on air quality. There is a desperate need for education and information.
Have you recommended placing permanent signs outside all schools in urban areas, for parents to switch off car engines whilst waiting for children?
This could be reinforced with leaflets given to pupils about air pollution and simple things that we can all do.
One which recently came to our attention is that new cars will start without having to depress accelerators. A colleague of ours in his mid 60s did not know that he has been wasting fuel for almost 10 years, by starting his car in the traditional way.
Importantly, many will be doing exactly that, if they turn off their engines when stopped at urban level crossings, such as at Starbeck in Harrogate.
By not depressing accelerators when restarting engines, an unknown proportion of pollution can be avoided.
You may also have recommended placing signs in parts of roads where traffic queues up either side of level crossings, to switch off engines.
It would be very helpful if you could advise on the provision of accurate and detailed information, which we can all read and use in our everyday lives.”
Chair Harrogate and District Green Party