Malachi Chadwick, Cyclist
Meet Malachi – He moved to London 3 years ago. He loves cycling and rides his bike to work and to meet friends across London.
‘As a cyclist you are in the thick of the traffic and you really notice air pollution. When I am cycling up between traffic I have to hold my breath when I go past a bus or big car as the air is so bad – it’s not nice.’
After commuting to work by bike everyday for a few months he started developing wheezy breathing and had to take time out after riding to catch his breath. He went to the doctor to ask about the symptoms. He previously thought he had been lucky to escape his family’s association with asthma, but was disappointed to hear the doctor tell him that he was developing a mild form of the condition.
Despite the poor air quality he stands by cycling as the best way to get around London – ‘It’s so much fun and it’s so convenient, it’s the best way to get around the city. Also, if I jump on a bus or in a taxi I am contributing to air pollution – it feels better to me to pick quieter routes and try to keep myself safe where I can’.
While in other ways London is the best place Malachi has lived, he thinks the Government should be doing much more about the problem. He thinks that everyone has some level of awareness about air pollution but individuals feel helpless about how they can help tackle the problem.
‘I think what the Healthy Air Campaign is doing is fantastic because the Government needs to feel the pressure on this issue, because it’s affecting everyone. If you are looking at 29,000 premature deaths across the UK every year then it’s really serious and we need to get on with it.’