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Four new 'School Streets' projects to launch for September term

The experiment, which aims to reduce children's exposure to air pollution, will see roads directly outside school entrances closed to traffic at pick-up and drop-off times.

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A previous School Streets pilot at Carfield Primary.

Sheffield City Council.

Four major new 'School Streets' trials will launch this September and run until the end of term at primary schools across Sheffield, in a bid to reduce exposure to air pollution.

The project will see roads directly outside school entrances closed to traffic for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon, Monday to Friday during term time.

The aim is to reduce children's exposure to deadly air pollution, as well as making it safer to walk and cycle to school.

The four schools involved are Carfield Primary, Greystones Primary, Nether Edge Primary and Porter Croft Primary Academy. Full details of each scheme are available on the Council's website.

“We welcome these four school street trials because they will provide a safer welcome for those walking, pedalling or scooting to school,” Emily Griffiths, mum-of-two and CycleSheffield campaigner told Now Then.

“CycleSheffield urge the council to do this outside many more schools to create a child-friendly environment at the start and end of the school day.”

Air pollution contributes to around 500 deaths a year in Sheffield, through conditions including strokes, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

According to the British Lung Foundation, "babies and children are especially vulnerable to air pollution as their lungs are still growing and developing." Air pollution can even damage children's lungs before birth.

A London coroner recently ruled that toxic air was responsible for the 2013 death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah, who lived 25 metres away from a main road which she had to walk along to get to school.

A recent study of 18 'School Streets' projects in the capital found that they had led to a 23% reduction in the illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air.

“It makes a real difference to the experience of getting to school," one parent told campaign group Mums For Lungs.

"We don’t have to stand at the side of the road breathing in fumes and waiting while cars go past. We can stand and chat at the school gates.”

The Sheffield pilot will run throughout the upcoming school term and follows successful one-week pilots last year at Carterknowle Juniors and Holt House Infants.

If the new pilots are successful, the project could be rolled out to more schools across Sheffield on a permanent basis.

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