CLIMATE change activists laid over 160 pairs of shoes in Millennium Square on Sunday (August 2), in a tribute to people they believe were killed by pollution in Coventry.
Extinction Rebellion Coventry placed a temporary memorial outside the Transport Museum, with 168 pairs of shoes.
The group hoped each pair would give a ‘sense of the tragedy’ in Coventry deaths caused by fine particulate matter.
Particles are emitted by vehicle exhausts, but in February, Coventry City Council won its battle to avoid a Clean Air Zone being imposed on the city centre.
In a statement, Extinction Rebellion Coventry said: “168 people died from air pollution in Coventry last year. In memory of these people we will place a pair of empty shoes to represent each life lost.
“We demand the council and the government take action so we can all breathe clean air.”
Coventry City Council has said it aims to reduce air pollution with more electric car charging points, cycle lanes and improvements to the bus network.
Research by the British Heart Foundation released this year found fine particulate matter builds up around the body, including in the fatty plaques of diseased arteries, causing heart attacks and strokes.
Jacob West, BHF director of healthcare innovation, said: “We need to ensure that stricter, health-based air quality guidelines are adopted into law to protect the health of the nation as a matter of urgency.
“Decision makers across the country owe it to future generations to help stop this alarming figure from becoming a reality.”