More than half of British parents would support the development of ‘traffic exclusion zones’ around schools, to help tackle the problem of air pollution a YouGov poll has found. Cars would be diverted away from these zones during peak times of the day.
The survey, carried out for environmental law organisation ClientEarth, also found that 63% of parents supported a ban on building any new schools in highly polluted areas.
The majority of parents (70%) supported the idea of the government alerting schools on high pollution days, as well as giving guidance on the best ways to protect their children.
ClientEarth senior campaigner Andrea Lee said: “The Clean Air Parents’ Network will help [parents] start conversations and engage with local and national decision makers who have not just a moral but a legal duty to take urgent and bold action to tackle the illegal and harmful levels of air pollution that are putting their families’ health at risk.”
According to the British Lung Foundation, toxic air can stunt the growth of children’s lungs. Alison Cook, director of policy for the British Lung Foundation, said: “For parents, there is nothing worse than worrying about the health and wellbeing of your child. Yet in Britain we’ve reached a point where children are exposed to damaging levels of air pollution every day. This is simply unacceptable.”
Last year, it was found that nearly 1,000 schools are next to or near roads with harmful levels of noxious traffic fumes. As part of its Poisoned Playgrounds campaign, ClientEarth launched its own postcode tool through which parents can find out if their child’s school is one of those on the list.