Parents asked to slow down and switch off car engines

As children prepare to return to the classroom, Dudley Council is taking measures to help keep children safer on roads while reducing the carbon footprint of school runs.

More than 60 per cent of Dudley borough schools have a 20mph scheme in their locality with many others having traffic calming measures in place.

The local authority recently created two new Safe School Zones, where there is an advisory 20mph limit, at Gayfield Avenue near Withymoor Primary and Richmond Street near Windsor High School.

The same measures, which have road safety advantages and help to reduce emissions, have been in place at Bradleys Lane near Wallbrook Primary and Cot Lane, Kingswood Road and Mount Pleasant near Glynne Primary since earlier this year.

The council, which champions the Child Friendly Dudley initiative, is also set to consult on another potential Safe School Zone in the area of Howley Grange Primary. Councillor Damian Corfield, cabinet member for highways and environmental services, said:

"We want to keep children as safe as possible when travelling to school and we are always encouraging families to walk, cycle or scoot whenever it is possible as this has good implications for a child’s health and the environment.

"The Safer School Zones are being delivered through the council’s Safer Routes to School programme, which work towards our policy to provide a safe school zone with a mandatory or advisory 20mph speed limit around every school in the borough.

"As Safe School Zones typically encourage motorists to slow down, the measures are also helping to reduce emissions in the localities. In addition, Dudley Council is also undertaking an anti-idling campaign, encouraging parents to switch off their car engines when pulling in to drop off or collect children."

The local authority identified seven areas where idling commonly takes place and has installed signage to remind people of the issues caused by the practice. Councillor Dr Rob Clinton, cabinet member for climate change, added:

"We are reminding parents and grandparents of the huge difference they can make to help reduce pollution near their child’s school simply by slowing down and making sure they turn off their engines when they are not moving.

"Idling is where motorists unnecessarily leave car engines running, increasing the amount of exhaust fumes in the air, and wasting gas. Car fumes contain harmful gasses including carbon dioxide, which is bad for the environment.

“It also contributes towards climate change, as well as a range of other harmful gasses including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons which are linked to asthma and other lung diseases."


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