Leicester transport pollution survey published

Campaign group releases results from online survey, which finds 62% of respondents across county are concerned about air quality

Drivers in Leicestershire have said they would walk more if there were less traffic fumes, a survey conducted by Leicester Friends of the Earth has found.

Results from the online survey, which was published today, found that 62% of the 103 local drivers interviewed said they were concerned about the level of air pollution in Leicester and surrounding Leicestershire.

The survey looked at people's transport habits in Leicester

The survey looked at people’s transport habits in Leicester

Those surveyed also listed concerns that the level of air pollution is affecting their health, particularly asthma-related problems.

The findings were compiled by the campaign group in collaboration with researches from University of Leicester and De Montfort University, who looked at how people make their regular journeys to work, the shops, or to drop their children to school (see story).

Some 45 respondents suggested that they would cycle if there were safer routes available, while more than a third were concerned about drivers’ attitudes to cyclists — saying they would consider the mode of transport if drivers were more considerate.

Meanwhile, others claimed they would walk if there were less traffic fumes and more pedestrian-only routes in the area. In addition, 62 people said they would be more likely to take the bus if there were ‘cheaper fares’ and a more frequent, reliable service.

The report concludes: “The data on transport choices shows that we succeeded in recruiting car drivers to respond to our survey.

“Their responses about what would persuade them to change their travel habits were perhaps predictable: they would cycle and walk more if there were safer routes available and they would use public transport more if it were cheaper and more reliable.”


Hannah Wakley, transport campaigner for Leicester Friends of the Earth, said: “The level of awareness of air pollution was perhaps the most surprising result of our survey; most of our respondents were concerned about the effects on their health. The challenge will be to translate that concern into a shift to more sustainable transport.”

In September 2013, Leicester Friends of the Earth claimed the city has the worst air quality of anywhere in England, and currently stands as the ninth worst in the whole of Europe (see story).

And, in October, the city council received a £500,000 grant from Defra to fit nitrogen dioxide filters on 32 buses running through areas of the city with the worst air quality.


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