Pupil power fuels council’s plans to tackle air pollution in Leeds

Hundreds of scooters are being given to primary schools across Leeds as part of an energetic new scheme to tackle air pollution and protect the health of children in the city.

The scheme will encourage children to swap four wheels for two and scoot to school instead of being driven.

Scooters and scooter storage will be rolled out across thirty primary schools in Leeds; most are located within the Clean Air Charging Zone that will come into effect on the 6th January 2020.

By reducing the number of cars making the school run every morning, the scheme aims to improve air quality around the primary schools and help Leeds reach national air quality targets as soon as possible.


Cllr James Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member for sustainability and the environment said:

“This new scheme means a breath of fresh air for children in Leeds—both figuratively and literally.

“Instead of a boring drive to class, children will now be able to safely scoot to school with their friends and parents instead, which is a lot more fun!

“We’re planning to target thirty schools where we think the scheme will be most effective. However, if the scheme proves popular and successful at tackling local air pollution we could expand the scheme to even more schools.”


As well as receiving funding for new scooters and their storage, recipient schools will receive scooter training, Performance in Education workshops on air quality and a range of lesson plans which include practical experiments using handheld air quality monitors.

It comes as Leeds City Council asks drivers in the city to do their bit to help fight air pollution by turning off their engines if they think they will be stationary for two minutes or longer.

Local school children are also helping to design new anti-idling signs being erected around a number of schools across the city.

Both schemes are made possible thanks to more than £150,000 of government funding given to Leeds City Council to improve air quality in Leeds.

More information on what Leeds City Council are doing to reduce air pollution and how you can help can be found below, or on the official Clean Air Leeds website at www.cleanairleeds.co.uk



For media enquiries please contact:

Chad Newton

Communications and Marketing Officer

Telephone: 01133 786007

Email: chad.newton@leeds.gov.uk


Let's clear a few things up


Cyclists and pedestrians are exposed to more air pollution than drivers


Wrong. As well as being better for your health and fitness, evidence shows that cyclists and pedestrians are also less exposed to air pollution than people in vehicles. This is because your air filter probably doesn’t remove pollution from the air it circulates and being on the road itself means that your vehicles is surrounded by exhaust fumes. Pedestrians and cyclists are also less exposed because even 1 metre away from traffic, there is considerably less pollution than on the road itself.


Turning your engine on and off again whilst sat in traffic releases more emissions than leaving it running.


Whether you’re stuck in traffic or just waiting to pick someone up, if you think that your car might be stationary for more than 2 minutes it’s better to turn your engine off than leave it running. Doing so will reduce the amount of gases harmful to our health and the environment that your car emits. It’s an easy way to reduce your own contribution to air pollution!


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