· Active transport modes such as walking and cycling could replace a lot of these driven kilometres and help improve air quality and community health as well as improve individual fitness.
· Transport continues to be a major contributor to air pollution in our larger cities, despite improvements in fuel standards and vehicle technologies. Vehicle emissions are a major source of summertime smog which can cause respiratory irritation and aggravate allergies. Smog is produced by the reaction of two pollutants called NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen) from burning fossil fuels and VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) on hot, sunny days.
· Particulate pollution is the other main cause of health impacts and comes from both diesel and petrol vehicles. This can be seen as black exhaust smoke but is generally invisible at street level. The respiratory problems associated with particulate pollution are chiefly caused by the smaller particles, those with a diameter of 2.5 microns and less.
· The best time to walk instead of driving is when it’s a short trip. Obvious? – Well not only is it easier for people who aren’t used to exercise, it’s actually the best sort of car trip to avoid.
· When cars are used for short trips, they produce more pollution. From a cold start, the catalytic converter in your car’s exhaust can take a few kilometres to warm up before it works effectively.
· With about a third of all car trips under two kilometres, there are plenty of opportunities to walk instead, reduce air pollution and get some exercise. (Victorian Activity Travel Survey DoI Research Dept).