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New research suggests that commuters using public transport are exposed to eight times the pollution that car users are.
Despite the fact that motorists produce the highest pollution per person than those commuting by other methods (unless of course, you liftshare!), it seems cars users are least exposed to harmful particulate matter; because they’re mainly sealed off from the outside air.
The study, carried out by the University of Surrey, compared commuters across London and their exposure to pollutants. Those at risk from the highest levels of Particulate Matter (PM) travelled by public transport – namely the London Underground and buses. Certain Underground lines fared worse than others.
Exposure to PM was much higher on older trains with open windows, whereas newer models without opening windows were safer. Commuters using buses experienced higher levels of black carbon. Demographically, those on the lowest incomes were exposed to the highest PM levels.
Dr Prashant Kumar, who led the study, said: “We found that there is definitely an element of environmental injustice among those commuting in London, with those who create the most pollution having the least exposure to it. There is an interesting trade-off of pollution exposure between different modes of transport.”
So, it’s official – liftsharing to work could actually decrease your exposure to harmful air pollution! Sign up to share as a driver or passenger now!
If you’d like more information on introducing a Liftshare scheme for your business, or think personalised travel planning or car sharing could work for your organisation, get in touch with our Business Team.
Author Lex Barber
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