Posted on Thursday 14th November 2019
Pupils accompanied by staff encouraging drivers not to idle in their cars
Pupils from St Margaret’s Junior School in Newcastle are urging drivers to switch off their engines outside school as part of a new campaign to reduce air pollution.
The campaign, running for 3 days this week, during the school runs to and from school aims to reduce the amount of pollution around the school from idling vehicles. Pupils accompanied by school staff will be explaining to drivers the risks of leaving their engines on when parked up.
Drivers will be told that for every minute they are idling they will produce enough foul exhaust fumes to fill around 150 balloons. Pupils, wearing Hi-Vis jackets and armed with flags and banners, will be cheering those parents and drivers who pledge not to idle outside the school.
Headteacher at the school, David Hugill said:
“Air pollution is a major issue at the minute and the staff and children want to do their bit and make a difference.
“The children are fully onboard with the campaign and so passionate about improving our environment. I’m incredibly proud of their efforts and pleased with the response we’ve had from drivers/parents too, who are more aware of the harm that idling does. Our children are raising awareness, changing attitudes and have made a real difference already.
“We also work hard with the county council’s school travel team to promote more active and sustainable travel, which is better for people’s health and for the overall environment. We would like to see more people walking, cycling or scootering to school.”
Clive Thomson, Assistant Director for Connectivity and Sustainability at Staffordshire County Council said:
“Air pollution is a problem for everyone but as we can see from the pupils efforts, even small changes can make a difference.
“Our Air Aware and anti-idling campaigns are really simple and will help to raise everyone’s awareness of the issue. And remember, by walking or cycling to school more often, we can improve our health through exercise, limit air pollution and lower greenhouse gases all at the same time.”
The Staffordshire Air Aware Project continues to work with schools, businesses and the wider public to raise awareness of Air Pollution and improve air quality in the worst affected areas of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. It’s one of 15 areas in the region to be given funding to tackle the issue.
In Staffordshire around 600 deaths every year can be linked to Air Pollution which is also linked to respiratory and heart disease and can cause cancer and severe asthma attacks as well as affecting children’s development.
People can find out more about the small actions they can take to help reduce air pollution at http://airaware.doingourbit.info