Ban cars for school-run for better safety and air quality, campaigners say

Charity Living Streets has delivered a report to the Transport Minister, Jesse Norman, setting out recommendations that would make it safer for children to walk to school, as well as clear up air pollution.

Delivered on this Walk to School Week (21-25 May), the report includes a call for cars to be banned from the school gates at drop off and pick up times.

Over 2,000 primary schools in the UK are situated in pollution hotspots, putting pupils’ health at risk, and new research by Living Streets shows that 42 per cent of parents are concerned about levels of air pollution around their child’s school.

Living Streets says that cutting unnecessary car journeys and enabling more families to walk to school must be part of the solution.  

Jenni Wiggle, Director of Local Impact, Living Streets says: “More children walking to school means fewer vehicles on the road and improved air quality for everyone.

“We want more children to enjoy the benefits of walking to school and so are calling on the government, local authorities and schools to work together to support families to choose to walk.

“We would like to see more local authorities working with schools to ban people from driving up to the school gate - adding to air pollution, congestion and road danger during drop off and pick up.

“Walking to school not only improves our air quality but is a great way for children to build more exercise into their daily lives, helping them to arrive to school healthier, happier and ready to learn.”

Living Streets’ report to the Transport Minister says local authorities should prioritise cutting air pollution; alleviating congestion; and providing a safer walking environment by introducing measures such as school street closures, Park & Stride sites and reduced traffic speeds around schools.

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