School run BAN – Parents could be banned from driving children to school in the UK

The school run could be banned for thousands of parents across the country.

Thousands of schools across the UK in towns and cities including in Manchester, London, Ellesmere Port and Edinburgh, have banned parents, or introduced deterrents, to stop them using their cars, reported the Guardian.

Measures to close the school run off to cars have been made after concerns about how pollution from vehicles at school affected children.

During peak times schools and the connecting roads can be a hive of activity with cars coming in an out, parked or idling as parents wait for their kids.

Idling engines are needlessly producing toxic emissions and the higher level of activity will also drive up CO2 and nitrogen oxide emissions.

A number of initiatives have been introduced including walk-to-school scenes, park and stride initiatives and road closures.

Kathryn Shaw, from the charity Living Streets, said that schools and parents were becoming more proactive about air pollution as they are becoming more aware of it and the dangers.

“When parents drive up to the school gates, it’s not just their children they’re dropping off for the day,” she said.

“The toxic fumes from the cars stay too. A lot of parents don’t want to drive all the way but feel there is no other option.”

Living Streets is working with over 2,000 schools in the UK to encourage alternatives to driving such as walking and cycling.

The charity said that there was more awareness of the benefits of air quality and how it simp acres both a child’s physical and mental health.

A number of schools in London are tackling the issue by introducing a number of measures to clamp down on air pollution.

In Hackney, roads around five different schools were closed and there is talk of extending it to 12 more in the borough, while Westminster will introduce a similar measure from September this year.

Similarly, in Edinburgh, nine schools banned parents from dropping off their kids and in Alloa, there were protests to warn people of the dangers.

 Alison Cook, director of policy at the British Lung Foundation, said children were particularly vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution.

“Damage to the lungs in early age is irreversible, and children breathing in dirty air is linked to chronic chest problems later in life.”

St Mary’s primary school in South Reddish, Stockport is one of several schools in the area which are trying to clamp down on the school run.

“We have a pupils’ eco-council at the school and they decided that, because of their concern around air pollution and global warming which we have been learning about, they wanted their parents to stop driving to school,” said a spokesperson.

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