Thousands of school children across Greater Manchester are taking action to improve air quality at their school gates for Clean Air Day (Thursday 20 June).
Pupils from across the city region are taking to the streets outside their schools to tackle cars parked with their engines running, a large contributor to air pollution. ‘Mini PCSOs’ are patrolling their school zones, presenting fake ‘penalty notices’ to drivers, encouraging them to turn off their engine when they stop. They are also giving them information about how dirty air is affecting all of us and what small changes we can make to reduce it.
Louise Warburton, Bolton Youth Council representative on the Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority, said: “Across Greater Manchester, dirty air is affecting our health and young people are one of the more vulnerable groups. Today’s activity with more than 80 schools across the region is a chance to spread the message that, if we all make small changes, we can reduce air pollution and clean up Greater Manchester’s dirty air.”
Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, added: “There’s nothing like the sight of children patrolling their streets to improve air quality to make parents and carers switch off their engines or – better still – make their journey to school without a car.
“It’s fantastic to see young people taking matters into their own hands and it’s been great to visit some schools today to hear about the difference it’s made.”
Clean Air Week (17-23 June 2019) is running across the whole of Greater Manchester, with a range of events taking place to share information and top tips of how we can all play a part in reducing pollution in the air we breathe.
Electric bike and vehicle roadshows are being held across the region, while artist Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods are on display at MediaCityUK, where visitors can safely experience the air quality of five different global cities, starting with the clean air of a Norwegian fjord, through to smog and pollution found in London, New Delhi, Beijing and Sao Paolo.
Greater Manchester’s 10 local councils are developing a Clean Air Plan to tackle the major risk that air pollution poses to our health. The proposals include introducing a Clean Air Zone across the whole of Greater Manchester, alongside major government funding to clean up the region’s most-polluting vehicles.