A Step in the Right Direction

New online service helps locals plan cleaner, greener journeys

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Low tech transport has gone high tech with the launch of a new online service that will help local people plan cleaner and greener journeys.


The walkit.com website includes a new feature created by several local authorities including Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which is designed to help people plan their journeys along the least polluted routes in West London.


As well as finding low-pollution routes, the new web service also provides additional information such as distance, estimated duration of journey, potential CO2 reduced and calories burned.


“Poor air quality is harmful to health and the environment. It is estimated that current levels of air pollution reduce the life expectancy of everyone in the UK by an average of 8 months. West London experiences some of the worst air quality in the country,” the Walkit.com website says.


“Individual exposure to poor air quality can be managed by choosing walking routes away from the most polluted areas. In London these tend to be the busiest roads. Choosing to take a route which takes you away from busy roads will reduce exposure to the harmful pollutants and consequently have a beneficial effect on health,” the website adds.


Simon Birkett of the Campaign for Clean Air in London says the site is easy to use: "With West London having some of the worst air quality in London, the Campaign for Clean Air in London was pleased to see the recent extension of walkit.com to this area. Just put in a couple of postcodes and the site will give you a walking route designed to avoid the worst air pollution. People in Shepherd's Bush worried about the health effects of poor air quality would do well to check out the website."


The new online service has been developed by The West London Air Quality Cluster Group comprising the boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow, Brent, Ealing, Hillingdon, Harrow and Richmond upon Thames with the help of funding from Transport for London.

8 December 2008