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School children target drivers in anti idling campaign

Posted on Thursday 4th May 2023
Children from Kidsgrove Primary Academy and Kidsgrove Secondary school NR

Children from Kidsgrove Primary Academy and Kidsgrove Secondary School

Pupils from two schools in Kidsgrove are urging drivers to switch off their engines in a campaign to reduce air pollution around their schools.

Children from Kidsgrove Primary Academy and Kidsgrove Secondary school are taking part in the anti-idling campaign.  Accompanied by school staff, they are explaining to drivers the risks of leaving their engines on when parked up. Drivers are being 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, megaphones and banners cheer those parents and drivers who pledge not to idle outside the school.

Steven Frost, Headteacher at The Kidsgrove Secondary school said: “I’m incredibly proud of the pupil’s efforts to reduce air pollution around the school. They are really determined to make a difference and are really enjoying being part of the anti-idling campaign.  They want to ensure that the area around their school is a safe and clean environment and want to educate our school community on these issues.

Emma Johnson, headteacher at Kidsgrove Primary Academy said “Air pollution outside schools is a major issue at the minute and it’s important that we all do our bit to tackle the problem.  The students are really enthused about taking part and we can all do our bit to make a difference.”

The action by the pupils runs alongside a wider countywide campaign to encourage businesses to declare themselves as an anti-idling zone.  To date the campaign has already signed up 167 organisations.  People can find out more and sign up at the Doing Our Bit Website.

Simon Tagg, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change at Staffordshire County Council added: “Air pollution is a problem that affects all of us but as we can see from the amazing work done by these pupils it’s very possible that with some small changes, we can make a difference.

“Our campaign is simple and is helping to raise awareness of the issue. For example, by switching your engine off when stationary or walking or cycling more we can improve our health through exercise, limit air pollution and lower greenhouse gases.  This month, we’re also encouraging businesses to sign up and make their site an anti-idling site. If organisations are interested in joining the scheme, please get in touch with the team.”

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 them travel differently one day a week at http://airaware.doingourbit.info


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