An element of BwD Council’s Safer Roads strategy is improving air quality. A major contributory factor of poor air quality around our schools is engine idling.
The Council are offering the opportunity for schools to participate in a public health campaign and will provide a banner to be displayed, support and communications and graphics for sharing this important message.
Idling creates air pollution by increasing the levels of exhaust fumes and harmful gases in the air. Air pollution irritates the lungs, lowers resistance to infection and makes conditions like asthma, heart and lung disease worse.
This is an issue that requires tackling as it is simply not necessary to leave your engine running when parked up waiting to collect your child from school. It’s easy for parents to play their part in improving air quality by simply switching off their engines, if they’re going to be stationary for more than a minute.
To really engage with parents the Council is inviting schools to take part in a competition for the best campaign run by a school which will be judged on its success and impact. Campaigns can run until the Easter break and the prize will be a road safety themed playground graphic or active trail around school grounds, encouraging walking and cycling to school.
To take part, schools can email email@example.com
BwD’s Assistant Executive Member for Growth and Development, Councillor Zainab Rawat said:
“This is a great opportunity for local schools and families to make a difference. The simple message is, by switching off your engine when it’s practical and safe to do so, you’ll help protect your health and that of others, save money and reduce air pollution.”
This an important issue as engine idling not only impacts air quality, it is actually illegal under the Road Vehicle Regulations (1986).
Children are particularly at risk from air pollution, as their immune systems, lungs and brains are still developing. Air pollution can affect children’s physical health, their ability to learn, and even lead to death. Yet millions of children are still exposed to dangerously high levels of air pollution, with over a quarter of UK schools are in areas above WHO air pollution limits.