Sandwell Council planning for greener ways of travel
A council boss has pledged to cut emissions in a Black Country borough - as a national pollution campaign gets underway this week.
Sandwell Council leader Yvonne Davies has encouraged residents to sign up for car and bike sharing schemes.
And she said the council is looking at more sustainable ways of generating energy in Sandwell.
Her pledge came ahead of the annual Clean Air Day on Thursday - which is the UK's largest air pollution campaign and encourages greener living.
Councillor Davies said: "Poor air quality has an impact on our health and air pollution, particularly from small particles in diesel fumes, is strongly linked to many serious illnesses including respiratory diseases, contributing to millions of premature deaths globally each year.
"While Clean Air Day gives us a focus, it's not just about one day, we are committed at Sandwell Council to improving air quality and will be consulting on our plans with residents later in the year.
"We are working on plans for better traffic signalling and encouraging people to sign up to car and bike sharing schemes with the aim of cutting congestion, reducing emissions and encouraging walking and cycling.
"We will also be looking at more sustainable ways of generating energy as a further way of protecting and enhancing our environment in Sandwell.
“Improving air quality is a huge challenge that we cannot tackle by ourselves. We will continue to work with our partners including Highways England, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, West Midlands Combined Authority and our neighbouring authorities to make this a healthier place for all.”
On Clean Air Day itself, Sandwell Council staff who drive to work will be encouraged to find an alternative way of commuting.
A Sandwell Council spokesman said plans have been made to improve cycle paths in Sandwell - with a focus on canal towpaths.
Around the clock, the local authority monitors air quality on roadsides around Sandwell, in a bid to cut pollution in the most congested areas.
The spokesman added: "Air pollution has a major impact on human health, ecosystems and biodiversity, it contributes to climate change and is damaging to our wider economy. Therefore, it is a priority area for Sandwell Council."