Calls to curb cars idling outside schools

Calls to curb cars idling outside schools

Added: 12 March 2019

Public health bosses have called upon a ban on idling cars outside schools across the UK. This was among a series of recommendations to cut air pollution across the country.

Exposure to long-term air pollution has been linked to between 28,000 and 36,000 UK deaths per year. Cutting heavy emissions around schools would go a long way to reducing the avoidable intake of pollution by millions of children.

The report, put together by Public Health England (PHE), suggested that local authorities could put a restriction on idling cars in the vicinity of vulnerable locations, such as schools and hospitals.  

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PHE medical director Professor Paul Cosford told the BBC: “We should stop idling outside schools and we should make sure that children can walk or cycle to school.

“If we were having a conversation about 30,000 people dying each year because of a polluted water supply, I think we would be having a very different conversation. It would be about: ‘what do we need to do now and how quickly?’”

The PHE review also put forward redesigning cities so people aren’t so close to highly-polluted roads; discouraging highly-polluting vehicles for entering congested areas; investing more in clean public transport and cycle paths; and encouraging a greater use of low-emission vehicles, such as hybrids and all-electric cars.

Prof. Cosford added: “I do think that if we consider this to be an issue of future generations, let’s have a generation of children brought free from the scourge and harms of air pollution.”

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