Green travel promoted at first Clean Air Day

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From left - Manager Lisa Kingman, Kayley Pepall, Hollie Griffiths and owner-Briony McNamara with her children Sullivan, 7 months, and Florence, 2

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PORTSMOUTH residents embraced the challenge to make Portsmouth greener at the city’s first ever Clean Air Day held yesterday.

Activities were held throughout the day with electric car and bike demonstrations, free park and ride trips and bike security marking taking place across the city.

Park and Ride for Clean Air Day'at Portsmouth Park and Ride (from left) Peter Lagesse (City EV), Steve McKeon (Portsmouth Cycle Exchange), Aaron Benham (Velopy) and Cllr Dave Ashmore (Cabinet Member for Environment and Safety)

Park and Ride for Clean Air Day'at Portsmouth Park and Ride (from left) Peter Lagesse (City EV), Steve McKeon (Portsmouth Cycle Exchange), Aaron Benham (Velopy) and Cllr Dave Ashmore (Cabinet Member for Environment and Safety)

Members of the Horndean Walking Group arrived to make the most of the park-and-ride service. They planned to take the bus to The Hard and then embark on a three-mile walk.

Cathy Colwell said: ‘It’s great that they’re doing this to try to lower emissions. We are big fans of the park-and-ride. More people should use it, I always think that when I see the big queues of cars coming into the city.’

City EV representative, Peter Lagesse, was on hand to answer questions about electric cars. ‘We would encourage the electric part of hybrid cars to be used during commutes to reduce emissions. Currently in Portsmouth we have two charging points in the Isambard Kingdom Brunel car park, one by Clarence Pier and one opposite the hovercraft,’ he said.

Stagecoach buses used the day to show off one of their Euro 6 buses, which is currently a pioneering design in green travel.

Driving mentor Richard Hancock said: ‘We’ve got 20 Euro 6 buses in a fleet of 45. I drive these buses most days and they’re lovely. They’ve got stop start technology so the engine cuts out when you’re waiting at traffic lights.They create about four times less pollution than the other buses we have.’ 

Portsmouth City Council’s environment boss, Cllr Dave Ashmore, said: ‘I’m impressed by what I’ve seen today. There is definitely a market for electric cars, people want cleaner cars. We don’t live in a society where we can tell people not to use cars at all but we can change the amount we use them.’

Hampshire County Council and Isle of Wight ferry company, Red Funnel, also held green campaigns.