Air pollution in Leeds having 'terrifying' effect on our children, say protesters on Infirmary Street

A group of parents braved the rain to demonstrate in Leeds yesterday, dressing up as cabin crew to highlight air pollution in Leeds.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th November 2019, 9:47 am

The newly launched anti-pollution parents group, called The Air Team, gathered on Infirmary Street to show concern for children in Leeds.

Aeroplane style oxygen masks were installed at two bus stops, which dropped down to demonstrate high levels of pollution on the busy bus route.

The stunt is part of a UK-wide campaign calling for urgent action to reduce air pollution, such as improving public transport emissions.

Campaigner Evan Holm with his 4-year-old son James

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Concerned mum Caroline Thomas, who lives in Roundhay, is worried about the health effects of air pollution on her 11-month-old daughter.

She said: "Asthma runs in our family so she's quite likely to be a sufferer herself.

"Her lungs are developing and I do worry that just by walking in our area or in the city centre she's inhaling really harmful levels of toxic gases.

"That could have an effect on her for the rest of her life. I want her to be sporty and love the outdoors, but not at the detriment of her health."

Airplane style oxygen maskswere installed at two bus stops to demonstrate high levels of air pollution in Leeds

Caroline joined the group of families on Infirmary Street who are urging the government and Leeds Council to do more to reduce emissions in Leeds.

Research suggests that five in every 100 deaths of people aged over 30 in Leeds is linked to air pollution which mum-of-two Ellen Clarke says is 'terrifying'.

Ellen lives in Oakwood with her 6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.

She said: "It's hard to breathe on the road that we have to walk along to get to school, especially when it's raining and everyone decides to use their car.

Ellen Clarke (left) with Caroline Thomas and her 11-month-old daughter, who were campaigning with the Air Team

"I've got little children whose lungs are still developing and we have no choice but to walk along these really busy and heavily polluted roads everyday.

"It's terrifying what that might be doing to them."