Three primary schools in Shipley have launched a joint initiative to ask parents, carers and other drivers to switch off their engines when waiting in vehicles on roads near the three schools.
The three schools, Saltaire Primary School, Wycliffe Church of England School and Shipley Church of England School are all sited near busy roads with high or illegal levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). High levels of NO2 can cause flare ups of asthma or symptoms such as coughing and difficulty breathing. Increasingly scientists are linking air pollution to adverse long-term health problems for children.
The schools have been working with the campaign group Clean Air Bradford to raise awareness of the air pollution problem around the schools and to look at ways that the school communities can take action to protect the children’s health. The group, which was inspired by the “no-idling” campaign at Myrtle Park Primary School in Bingley, received local funding to print banners and fliers for the schools to use.
Rob Whitehead, Headteacher at Saltaire said:
“Asking parents and drivers around the school to switch off their engines is a simple first step in building awareness about the issue of air pollution near our schools.”
Denise, Headteacher at Wycliffe said:
“We are really hoping that the banners and fliers get the message over to our parents and carers that there is something we can all do to help solve the air pollution problem near our schools.”
Angela, Headteacher at Shipley said:
“ We hope that other schools across Bradford will be inspired by our joint actions and that the council will help schools set up permanent no- idling zones around schools to protect our children’s health.”
Bradford Council has been working on a plan to deal with illegal levels of air pollution across Bradford and has to report on the plan to the Government by the end of October 2019.
Darren Parkinson, from Clean Air Bradford, said:
“We chose to work with local schools as we know that air pollution has a big impact on children, whose lungs and brains are still developing. Although running “no-idling” campaigns is a good first step we need to see ambitious plans from Bradford Council on dealing with air pollution.
We would like to see Bradford Council adopt “school streets”. Hackney Council, in London have rolled these out to restrict polluting traffic on roads near schools at drop off and pick up times. Our local schools are next to very busy roads and children walk along these roads on their way to and from school. We need to see a reduction in traffic on these roads if we are to protect the health of our children.”