Cleaner air the focus for Walk to School Week 2020

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Thousands of primary school children across Brighton & Hove will take part in “Walk to School Week” this week, as part of Brighton Council’s campaign to reduce air pollution in the city.

Some nurseries, pre-schools, nursery classes and childminders will also be walking and wheeling for clean air.

The campaign encourages parents, carers, children and staff to walk, scoot or cycle to the classroom as much as possible. Those unable to walk the whole way are encouraged to walk at least the last 5 minutes of their journey, reducing traffic in the area around the school or nursery.

This year, “Walk to School Week” coincides with “Clean Air Day” on Thursday 8th October, which will see a host of virtual events taking place, including an online assembly for schools and panel discussions about the impact of air quality on our health.

Schools can also make use of the Schools Framework, a free online tool with tips on how to reduce air pollution in and around the school premises.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, more of us have been using active and sustainable travel to move around the city. We have seen fewer cars on the road and increases in the number of people cycling and walking short journeys.

In September, some Brighton schools also began taking part in the School Streets project, closing roads near to school entrances to cars during drop off and pick up times in an effort to reduce pollution.

Chair of the Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, Amy Heley, said: “It will be great to see so many of our city’s school children taking part and walking, cycling and scooting their way to the classroom.

“I’d encourage all parents and carers to get involved. Even if you have to use the car during drop off and pick up, think about walking the final 5 minutes of the journey because it can make such a difference to your health and reduce traffic around your child’s school.

“Improving air quality in the city remains an important goal and especially around our schools and nurseries. We all have a part to play and even making small changes to our daily routines can make a big difference over time.”

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