RESIDENTS in Warrington are being encouraged to leave their cars behind on Thursday in a bid to reduce air pollution in the town.

Managing director of Warrington’s Own Buses, Ben Wakerley, has issued a rallying call for people to leave the car and use the bus on Clean Air Day.

The campaign is aimed at supporting people to make positive choices that can improve air quality.

It is designed to help communities understand what they can do to reduce the impact of pollution.

The campaign highlights that car drivers can be exposed to twice as much air pollution as pedestrians and up to nine times more than cyclists.

Ben said: “Air pollution can affect your health from your first breath to your last - it’s a global issue that we need to respond to and do our bit to tackle. "The good news is that the air pollution crisis is solvable, but will require radical behaviour change.

“On Clean Air Day this year I’m urging people to give the car a day off. "Could you take the bus to work or school, or use another method of transport like the train or bike?

"I’d encourage people to hop on a bus or dust off your bike helmets and see what it’s like to leave your car behind for a day.

“If we are to truly tackle air pollution, we need people to reduce the use of cars in and around Warrington where there are alternative methods of transport available.”

Up to 36,000 people die from air pollution-related illnesses each year in the UK.

Warrington’s Own Buses continues to invest in its buses, with recent additions to the fleet noted for their fuel efficiency, helping to reduce carbon emissions and lessening the impact of air pollution.

As the company’s older buses are eventually phased out, Warrington’s Own Buses is committed to investing in fuel-efficient, more environmentally friendly vehicles.