POLLUTION-choked Rugby could soon see the introduction of ‘Boris bikes’.
Figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change indicate carbon dioxide emissions in the town are three times higher than the national average.
And county councillors are proposing ways to improve air quality across the whole of Warwickshire.
Along with promoting using bikes, trains and car sharing, the report also looks at ideas which have successfully reduced congestion in London – including the introduction of so-called Boris bikes.
The bikes – which are named after former mayor and now foreign secretary Boris Johnson – cost £2 to rent in the capital and can be left at various stations.
In the report – which the council’s cabinet is set to discuss on Tuesday (January 24) – there is also the recommendation to introduce air-friendly routes for lorry drivers using HGV sat-navs.
The report reads: “It is estimated the equivalent of approximately 29,000 deaths per year in the UK are associated with air pollution. This translates to the equivalent of 269 deaths in Warwickshire each year, putting it on a par with deaths caused by obesity and alcohol.
“Poor air quality also significantly reduces quality of life by causing or exacerbating respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
“Between 40 to 80 per cent of nitrogen dioxide air pollution is attributable to road transport. This is where the council has the most influence and has therefore been the focus of this report.”
To fund the proposals officers have submitted a bid to Defra for an £88,000 grant.
Some £30,000 of the money would go towards equipment to implement the recommendations. The rest would pay for a travel plan officer for schools and businesses and a campaign urging people to think twice before jumping in the car.