Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats are pushing to make the streets around our county’s schools less polluted and safer for our children and young people.
Every year it’s anticipated that 36,000 early deaths can be linked to breathing polluted air, while exposure to air pollution for children can lead to permanent lung damage and developmental issues.
Such exposure is at it’s worst during peak traffic hours; school drop off and pick up. This is why Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats are pushing the council to roll-out a series of schemes to reduce levels of air pollution outside schools.
Cllr Iain Dobie is bringing a motion to Full Council on 25 March, calling for the roll out of School Streets schemes – which close roads immediately outside schools during peak hours – and no-idling zones outside our county’s schools, with pilots to start in the next academic year. The Lib Dems are also pushing for additional green measures that would prevent toxins getting past the school gate, such as trees, hedges and living walls, to be piloted in 2020/21.
Cllr Iain Dobie said of the motion
“We know that the health of our county’s children is being permanently damaged by the inhalation of polluted air on the way to school. The Liberal Democrats think this is completely indefensible, and we are therefore pushing for the County Council to use it’s wide-ranging legal powers to stop this.
“Working with schools, local councillors and parents, we are seeking a significant expansion in green safer streets initiatives – such as the ‘School Streets’ scheme and enforceable no idling zones – to be offered to identified high risk school across the county. As the first pilots roll-out next year, I expect momentum to build such that all parents in the county will want these measures to be implemented at their school, to protect the health of their children.”
Cllr Nigel Robbins, who is seconding the motion, said:
“Anyone who has seen school gates at drop off and pick up times knows how hectic the traffic can be – presenting a clear danger to our pupils. By preventing car access during peak hours, School Streets schemes encourage active travel, safer streets and reduce air pollution.
“Our motion presents the Conservatives with the opportunity to show their commitment to the safety of our county’s children, and I trust they will all vote with us on 25 March.”