Campaign: the Lambeth walk

Research by the London Borough of Lambeth found that 90 per cent of local air pollution was attributable to road traffic. It also discovered that a third of car journeys in London were under one mile and could be easily walked or cycled.

The council launched a Travel Without Polluting campaign in a bid to encourage residents to rethink their transport habits.


Objectives
To raise awareness of how various transport affects air quality and encourage residents to opt for more sustainable transport by outlining the benefits of walking, cycling and taking public transport.

Strategy and Plan
To keep the message simple, the council opted for a poster, ad, postcard and online-led campaign focusing on local and national press. Initially, this was rolled out across the Brixton area – the town centre there has the worst air quality in Lambeth.

Last November, 30,000 postcards were sent to homes, featuring positive ‘paradise'-style images and messages encouraging people to make Lambeth a more pleasant and healthy borough. This was supported by a range of posters and ads on the backs of buses.


All material linked to a ‘Travel without polluting' area of the council's website. Here, residents could find facts and figures about air quality and information about sustainable transport options and greener motoring, including driving tips, car-share schemes and alternative fuels. The site also outlined how the council had lowered pollution – such as via cycle lanes and parking restrictions.

Measurement and Evaluation
The campaign was covered by Lambeth Life magazine and was featured on electionmemory.com, the website for debating issues around the 2006 local elections. It also appeared on the online news pages of the Chartered
Institute of Environmental Health and the Energy Savings Trust.

Results
A telephone survey of 700 residents by FDS International showed that recall of the campaign was relatively high – 22 per cent of those asked said they had seen material about Lambeth persuading them to use their car less. This compares favourably with recall figures for similar transport campaigns.

The success of this pilot project has led to the council planning a similar campaign later this month.

Tim Jackson, assistant director of street management at Lambeth, says: ‘While we do not expect to see everyone get on their bikes, hopefully this means the environmental impact will at least be in people's minds when they decide what type of transport to use.'

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