Children at a Leicester school were given a chance to enjoy a traffic-free street as part of national Clean Air Day.
Glebelands Primary, in Beaumont Leys, worked with the city council and environmental charity Sustrans to close the road outside the school and take its classes into the street.
Chancel Road was closed from early morning until 5pm on Clean Air Day itself (Jun 21), and at school run times on the two days either side of it.
Pupils, parents, guardians and school staff were encouraged to walk, cycle or scoot to school and leave the car at home. People who needed to drive were asked to park away from the school and complete their journeys on foot.
The whole school was able to use the closed street for an outdoor assembly, playtimes, chalk art and an introduction to ‘kerby’ – a traditional ball game played across the road. They also gathered in the traffic-free road to spell out a huge ‘We love clean air’ message.
A special event for families was held at the end of the school day with fun activities and information stalls.
Sustrans and Living Streets were on hand to offer advice on walking and cycling and the Dr Bike service provided free check-ups for people’s bikes and scooters. Representatives from the police were also offering free security marking for bikes.
Headteacher Lawrence Lee said: “The day took a great deal of planning and preparation but the support we received from Sustrans, Leicester City Council and the whole school community made it all worthwhile. It helped the children to consider our impact on the environment and how we can make it a greener and safer place to live”.
Deputy City Mayor Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and public health, said: “Walking, cycling or scooting to school is much healthier and cheaper than driving and parking outside your school. It’s something we can all do to cut pollution at the school gates and help improve air quality for our children.
“Closing the road for Clean Air Day is an effective way of showing the difference that leaving the car at home can make and helping to get children and parents to think about important environmental issues like traffic and air pollution.”
National Clean Air Day is organised by environmental charity Global Action Plan as a chance to find out more about air pollution, share information with friends, and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.