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Eloise learns about air pollution

We visited 7-year-old Eloise in Birmingham to tell her about air pollution.

Tom, Eloise's dad, tells us his thoughts on how air pollution affects his family

My family and I have lived in Birmingham for 10 years now. 

A year ago, we moved house. Our new home is on one of the busiest roads in the area, which leads in and out of the city, and the pollution is a huge problem. 

From Monday to Fridays, the commute means the roads are often packed solid in both directions with polluting, stationary traffic for up to three hours a day. That includes buses and delivery vehicles, but predominately, it's private cars, often carrying just a single person.

The pollution gets so bad that you can see the grime building up on the front door and windows. 

I wish fewer people would drive

Taking Eloise to school means crossing the busy main road, so we end up breathing in lots of exhaust fumes. And it doesn’t end there - all the side streets are full of traffic trying to join the main road!

I wish fewer people would drive, but I know there's so much that need to be done first to convince people to use other transport options. Things like safer cycle routes and more buses (ones not stuck in traffic!) would help.

My family and I try our best to reduce the impact we have on the air quality. I cycle to and from work every day, and as often as possible, we take the children to school on foot or by bike. But the amount of air pollution my two young children and I end up breathing in worries me. 

The NHS has enough to deal with already without us creating future health problems by filling children's developing lungs with poisonous gases on their way to school, or worse, while they’re in the playground.

That’s why I signed up with the Clean Air Parents’ Network. We urgently need to take action now and make sure that everyone can breathe clean air.

 Show your support for clean air now by joining the Clean Air Parent's Network

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14 January 2019