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Parents back ‘pollution exclusion zones’ to protect school children

ClientEarth pollution campaign

Parents would back ‘pollution exclusion zones’ to divert cars away from primary and secondary schools at key moments in the day, survey finds.

The results follow last week's High Court ruling which ordered the Government to take stronger action to improve air quality in areas not compelled to introduce clean air zones (CAZs) or submit local action plans.

In the YouGov poll, carried out for environmental law organisation ClientEarth, 60% of parents backed traffic exclusion zones and 63% were in favour of the building ban. Only 13% of parents opposed traffic exclusion zones and 8% opposed the building ban.

The poll also revealed that 60% were worried about the effect that air pollution was having on their children’s health. And 70% were in favour of the Government alerting schools on high pollution days and supplying guidance on how to protect children from air pollution.

Client Earth’s senior campaigner Andrea Lee said: “It’s clear from these findings that parents are deeply worried about the air their children are breathing and want something done about it.

“The Clean Air Parents’ Network will help them start conversations and engage with local and national decision makers who have not just a moral but a legal duty to take urgent and bold action to tackle the illegal and harmful levels of air pollution that are putting their families’ health at risk.”

British Lung Foundation’s director of policy Alison Cook said: “For parents, there is nothing worse than worrying about the health and wellbeing of your child.

“Yet in Britain we’ve reached a point where children are exposed to damaging levels of air pollution every day. This is simply unacceptable.”

“Children’s lungs are far more vulnerable than adults, as they are still developing, and toxic air can stunt that growth.

“Children who grow up to have smaller lungs are likely to have significant health problems in later life, and therefore the negative health effects of dirty air on children need to be given far greater prominence.

"We urge all parents to join this network to help raise awareness and enact change.”

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