HEALTH: We have to get out of our cars

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New research linking heavy traffic with an increased dementia risk shows why we must clean up the air.

More cars results in poorer air quality, which causes major respiratory health problems and is responsible for more than 40,000 premature deaths in the UK.

A new study, published in the Lancet, shows the additional negative impact traffic-heavy streets have on other aspects of our health.

It finds roughly one in 10 cases of Alzheimer’s in urban areas could be associated with living amid heavy traffic, while those living by busy roads are 12 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with dementia.

This is yet more evidence of the negative impacts of motorised traffic on our health, which has a particular impact on the most disadvantaged people in our society.

The only credible solution to creating healthier streets is one that encourages people out of their cars and onto their feet, bikes or public transport.

For that to happen, we need to build our towns and cities around active modes of travel so that people can walk more, breathe better quality air and be better protected from preventable illnesses.

Tompion Platt,

Head of Policy and Communications,

Living Streets