2,567 residents lost their lives due to air pollution – report

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Air pollution caused the premature deaths of thousands of people across the region in just 12 months, according to new statistics.

Road safety charity Brake estimates 2,567 deaths were linked to air pollution in the Yorkshire and Humberside during 2010.

And the new figures were revealed as the charity launched a new campaign calling on people to ‘drive less and live more’.

Brake wants people to use their cars less after 40 per cent of people surveyed across the UK said they made car trips that were less than two miles.

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns at Brake, said: “Our road safety week theme of ‘drive less, live more’ makes clear the link between improving road safety and preventing casualties.

“We understand that not everyone has freedom of choice in the way they travel, hence we continue to have a strong year-round focus campaigning for a safer environment for walking and cycling through our GO 20 campaign.

“We also support the efforts of partner organisations that are campaigning for better public transport. But our main aim through this November’s road safety week is to help people consider the options open to them.”

Brake and partners AIG and Specsavers are calling on people to use their vehicles less this winter.

It comes after a survey found 36.44 per cent of people aged 16 to 74 drove to work and just 1.57 per cent cycled.

They also found 44 per cent of adults were not doing more than 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.

Specsavers co-founder Dame Mary Perkins said the visibility of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers are reduced during the winter.

She said: “We hope this doesn’t discourage people from walking and cycling at this time of year.

“We would urge all road users to ensure they have regular eye tests in order to keep both themselves and their loved ones safe and to cut down on the amount of preventable collisions on our roads.”

AIG casualty profit centre manager Stuart Sutherland said: “We in AIG are delighted to be supporting Brake in the dedicated work it does to promote road safety in the UK.

“It reflects our commitment as a company to working around the world alongside partners in business, government and the community to make our roads safer and prevent unnecessary death and injury.”