Overdale Infant and Junior School in Leicester has been taking part in a cycle, walk and scoot to school day as part of Clean Air Day 2017, a national campaign to raise awareness of the problems caused by poor air quality.
We have worked with the school to highlight the importance of clean air. During the day pupils were incentivised to ditch the car and walk, cycle and scoot to school instead.
After the school day ended families were encouraged to stay behind and take part in a range of exciting activities. These included fun bike, scooter and walking events as well as information about other events such as the exciting Ride Leicester Festival, including the City Ride.
Families were asked to consider how they could change their own travel behaviour to improve the local air quality.
Funded by Leicester City Council, we work with local schools to encourage more young people to take part in active travel such as walking and cycling. Active travel can make people healthier, happier and cut down on traffic congestion.
Air quality is becoming an increasing problem in towns and cities across the country, it’s damaging our environment and our health. Up to 40,000 early deaths are attributable to air pollution each year in the UK and road transport is responsible for 80% of the pollution where legal limits are being broken.
Sustrans Bike It officer Anna Singleton said:
“We all need to consider how our actions and lifestyle choices impact on air quality. Poor air quality has negative effects on developing lungs, making it even more important for children. There is a strong link between air pollution and worsening Asthma symptoms, exposure to air pollution can cause more coughs and conditions such as Bronchitis. We hope to raise awareness on the day and encourage families to make more journeys by bike, foot and scooter.”
Speaking after the event Steve Massey, a teacher from the school said:
"As a teacher, my job is to help children prepare for the future. They need a future with clean air! I'm pleased that this event is a small step towards achieving that."