Story by Graham Jones
Some of our schools in Burngreave are in areas which frequently suffer illegal levels of air pollution, as shown by monitoring by the Burngreave Clean Air Campaign. This pollution severely affects the health of children and adults alike. It can even affect babies in the womb and can stunt the normal growth of children’s lungs, as well as causing asthma.
Sheffield City Council are introducing a trial of a scheme to introduce Safe School Streets. These are roads next to schools, including Oasis Academy Fir Vale, where traffic is restricted during the times of the day when children are arriving or leaving school. Such schemes have already proved successful in some other UK towns and cities. They not only reduce children’s exposure to pollution and risk of accident but might actually encourage some parents to leave the car behind altogether and walk to school with their children.
After all, children inside the car are more exposed to the ill effects of the fumes than those outside on the pavement.
Councillor Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport, said:
“The council is going to pilot the scheme as part of our work to encourage safer, greener and healthier travel to school.”
There are other schools in Burngreave where such a scheme might be of benefit. They could prevent some of the current mayhem, where a jam of cars outside the school gates causes excessive pollution and a hazard to those on foot. We look forward to seeing how successfully the trial at the pilot sites works.