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Survey shows two thirds of teachers support banning cars from outside schools
EB News: 25/03/2019 - 07:01
A survey by environmental charity Sustrans has found that almost two-thirds of teachers would support banning cars from the roads outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times.
The charity polled 840 people in teaching roles across the UK. Over 40 per cent said idling car engines were a concern when it came to rising levels of air pollution near schools, while 63 per cent said their school’s location on or near a busy road was a worry.
Almost 60 per cent said a lack of alternative routes for traffic was one of the main barriers to closing roads outside schools to cars at drop-off and pick-up times.
34 per cent said encouraging more people to walk, ride a scooter or cycle would help reduce toxic fumes, with 28 per cent saying that educating the school community would also help.
Sustrans CEO Xavier Brice said: “We need to radically change the way we travel. Idling car engines and snarled up roads poison the air and our children’s bodies across the UK.
“For too long now, dangerous levels of air pollution near schools have been ignored. Finally this is starting to change.
“Our survey makes it clear that teachers want urgent action to clean up toxic fumes. They see closing the roads outside their school as an effective solution but need support.”
Last year, a report by Unicef UK found children were most exposed to dangerous air pollution on the school run and while in the playground
Unicef UK’s director of advocacy and communications Sophie Gallois, said:
“Every day, one in three children in the UK is breathing in harmful levels of air pollution that could damage their health and impact their future.
“Worryingly, children are most exposed to toxic air on the school run and while at school, so a ban on motor vehicles outside the schools gates has potential to make a real difference.
“Reducing children’s exposure to air pollution is not just about the school street itself, but also taking quieter routes to school, away from busy main roads.
“The government must take urgent action to tackle this growing health crisis by putting children’s health at the heart of its work on air pollution.”