Walking is good for us and we are all encouraged to do more of it. However, we sometimes need to take care where we walk, so as to avoid routes with heavy traffic and high levels of air pollution.
On Friday November 7, Richmond Council is playing host to the high-profile launch of a new online service which enables people to plan their journeys along the least polluted routes in West London.
The West London Air Quality Cluster Group, comprising the boroughs of Richmond upon Thames, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Brent, Ealing, Hillingdon and Harrow, have used a Transport for London grant to commission the website from Walkit.com.
Visitors to the launch at the Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham next Friday (November 7) will find computer access on hand so they can try out the website for themselves, tailoring routes to personal preferences.
Guest speaker at the event will be Dr Alasdair Jones from Living Streets, a charity which campaigns for better streets and public spaces.
Cllr Serge Lourie, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
"I very much support any initiative that makes it easier for local people to use their feet to get from one place to another. It is well documented that being in areas with high air pollution can have severe health impacts. While the problem cannot easily be solved, its effects can be avoided. This useful new service shows how solutions can be found through the collaboration of equally committed neighbours. We are all committed to encouraging residents to make healthier choices and this includes walking whenever possible. This website makes that choice practical."
WLAQCG chairman Rob Gibson said:
"This new facility allows people to walk away from air pollution, removing a barrier to this activity.
"From day one of the service there will be one less excuse why we shouldn't walk in West London."
The West London Walkit.com event is from 9.30am to 12.30pm on November 7, at Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham. Alasdair Jones will speak at 10.30am and Jamie Wallace from Walkit will speak at 10.50am before the official launch of the service
Find the Air Quality Strategy, 2007 at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/strategy
The website address is www.walkit.com/showcase
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