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Air Aware Staffordshire campaign

Thu 4 Jul 2019

What is it?

The Air Aware Staffordshire communications campaign is part of the efforts to reduce air pollution in 16 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

While Newcastle- under-Lyme Borough Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council is working to meet the requirements of a recent Ministerial Directive regarding the area surrounding the A53, the county council will work with the relevant borough or district council to lead on reducing air pollution in the other AQMAs.

The year-long Air Aware campaign will:

  • Inspire long-term behaviour change to reduce single-person, daily travel and driving habits that is the main cause of harmful rises in air pollution
  • Grow a new audience of people travelling differently to reduce air pollution and taking personal responsibility for clean air
  • Create a sustainable, community-led approach through a 12- month campaign that will encourage people to ‘do one more thing to help you to travel differently one day a week.’

Small actions really do add up, so by encouraging people to do just one more thing, we will make a difference.  These individuals will be supported to travel even more sustainably over time.

What does the campaign look like?

The communications campaign will launch on Clean Air Day (20th June), and will focus on one small action per month and encourage people to ‘pledge’ to carry it out by showcasing people already doing it.  Media and social media will be used to communicating messages, including counteracting some widely-held myths. These individuals will be developed over the lifetime of the campaign to travel even more sustainably.

Businesses will be supported in producing work place travel plans, support promoting active and sustainable travel and encouraging staff to pledge to ‘do one more thing.’

Schools across AQMA’s will be supported in producing school travel plans, support promoting active and sustainable travel with a number of schools already receiving accreditation. In addition, schools in AQMA’s will have access to a ready-made air quality team / SCC comms produced anti-idling campaign which has been identified as a major contributor to air pollution in many AQMA’s.

Everyone will be signposted to http://airaware.doingourbit.info where they can browse the options for small things they can do to travel differently. They can then pledge to do it and share their pledge over social media to encourage other people to do the same.


Where are the AQMAs?

  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Kidsgrove
  • Leek
  • Newcastle
  • Cellarhead
  • Madeley
  • Burton Upon Trent
  • St. Peter’s Bridge, Stapenhill
  • Muckley Corner
  • Five Ways Island, Heath Hayes
  • A38 Stretham to Alrewas
  • A5 Churchbridge to Norton Canes
  • Oak Farm


How can members get involved?

Members’ insight and support to encourage local people ‘to do one more thing’ is very much welcomed. As a result, a day for all members representing AQMAs will scheduled soon.

In the meantime, please:


Answers to tricky questions you may be asked if you represent an AQMA area

  • Is there dangerous levels of pollution where I live?

Air quality is a problem all over the country. In Staffordshire we have pockets of areas where the air quality exceeds European standards on air quality and these are the areas we are hoping to improve through our Air quality project as well as the wider county.


  • What does poor air pollution do?

Air pollution is actually the biggest environmental threat to public health.  It affects people of all ages, but young children and older people are especially vulnerable. 500 deaths a year are attributed to poor air quality and can take two years off people’s lives in high pollution areas.


  • What is the council doing about it?

The campaign is part of a wider range of activity that will raise awareness of air quality matters across Staffordshire, drive behavioural change and scope innovative future technologies that if embraced early could have a massive impact on pollutant levels in the medium to long term. The wider air quality project (AQP) has already engaged 6,500 pupils and 1,000 parents at 15 schools since its launch last July, encouraging them to walk or cycle instead of driving.

However, by the far the biggest contributor to air pollution is vehicle emissions, so it’s everyone’s responsibility to do one small thing to travel differently one day a week. 

Most journeys in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are less than five miles, so there’s a brilliant opportunity for people to try a different way to travel.


Do you have wider questions about the Air Aware Staffordshire campaign?

Contact Clare Abbotts, Senior Campaigns Officer at Staffordshire County Council on clare.abbotts@staffordhire.gov.uk