Merton gets pumping, saving cash and carbon

Merton Council has joined forces with the Climate Squad for Operation: Pump It Up to cut drivers’ fuel consumption, save them cash and reduce CO2 emissions.

Climate Squad is the youth volunteering initiative organised by UK award-winning environmental charity Global Action Plan.

Five young volunteers from the squad between the ages of 16 and 25 were out in one of Merton Council’s car parks pumping up the tyres on council employees’ cars. In total, they pumped up tyres on 18 cars making an overall saving of a 28 Litres of fuel per driver (about £31 per driver) and 1.4 tonnes of CO2 per driver (77kg).

The volunteers met with council staff to give them a demonstration of how to check the tyre pressure and look for the recommended tyre pressure for the model of car. They also gave out health and safety information and gave away high visibility jackets for drivers to keep in the boot.

Ensuring tyres are properly pumped up saves drivers between five and eight percent on fuel consumption and cuts carbon emissions by up to eight percent. Under-inflated tyres create more friction with the road and more resistance and incorrect pressure can also result in shorter tyre life and affect stability and braking capacity.

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: ‘It is wonderful to see these young people who are so passionate about the environment. Often it is through doing the simple things, like making sure tyres are properly inflated, that we can make a difference. If everyone who owns a car did this, imagine just how much fuel and carbon we could all save. Of course, the less fuel we use, the better off we are financially too.’