Parents Urged To Turn Engines Off Outside Schools

Parents and guardians of school age children in Co Down are being urged to turn their car engines off while outside schools in a new council initiative.

The first of its kind in Northern Ireland, 'Engine Off- Prevent The Cough' was launched by Ards and North Down Borough Council and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) last week.

Some 20 primary schools are taking part and hoping to tackle air pollution in and around schools by educating students, parents and the general public on the effect idling vehicles have on public health.

The councils have provided participating primary schools with a resource pack, which includes a range of educational materials and resources to help them develop their own no idling project. The campaign will not only result in improved air quality, but develop Key Stage 2 cross curricular skills through language and literacy, mathematics and numeracy, 'the world around us', personal development and mutual understanding.

Mayor of Ards and North Down Alderman Bill Keary hopes the project will make significant improvements to the local environment.
News Image
"Air pollution affects us all and idling outside school gates at drop off and pick up means that children are exposed to increased and unnecessary air pollution," Alderman Keary said. "Our no idling campaign is really simple and will help to raise everyone's awareness of the issue. And by walking or cycling to school, we can improve our health through exercise, limit air pollution and lower greenhouse gases all at the same time. It is important that we all do our bit to tackle the problem."

LCCC's Chair of the Environmental Services Committee, Alderman James Baird, added: "Air pollution harms the health of millions of people worldwide every year, particularly the more vulnerable members of society like children, older people and those with existing health conditions.

"Idling happens when your vehicle engine is running but you're not moving. For example, when waiting outside a school, at a red light or at roadworks for more than 10-20 seconds.

"We want to educate students and parents about the benefits of not idling and the small things they can do to make a big difference so that the Lisburn Castlereagh area becomes a safer and healthier place to live, work and visit for generations to come."

The project is part-funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural affairs.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 November 2019
Other News In Brief
NI Council To Provide Free Sanitary Products Antrim and Newtownabbey Council has approved a proposal to provide free sanitary products in council buildings and leisure centres. Alliance Cllr Glenn Finlay raised the issue and said its passing demonstrates the progressive nature of the council.
06 December 2013
Air Pollution Text Service Launched
A new service has been launched that will enable air pollution updates to be sent by text message. Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has launched Air Aware, aimed at people who have existing chronic health conditions such as asthma or heart disease, so they can choose to limit their time outdoors or avoid strenuous outdoor exercise.
06 December 2019
Health Unions Reject £28m Pay Offer
Negotiations between trade unions and the Department of Health over the ongoing industrial action have ended without agreement. Health workers across Northern Ireland have joined actions over pay and staffing levels.
28 November 2019
'It's Time To Declare A Health Care Emergency'
The latest official healthcare figures have revealed the continued misery facing patients across Northern Ireland. Publication of the most recent waiting time statistics has prompted calls to declare a health care emergency, as it emerges that over 300,000 people are on a waiting list to see a consultant.