Clean Air Zone funds approach to create cleaner air around schools

Bradford Council is launching a Clean Air Schools programme to improve air quality around schools, this will be the first programme funded with Clean Air Zone revenue. A report on the new Clean Air Schools programme, set to go to the Council’s Executive to be approved on Tuesday, sets out the plans to provide cleaner air for schools via a comprehensive package of engagement, education and awareness raising as well as grants for individual schools.

Revenue from the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) can only be invested in line with the terms of the Charging Schemes Order (CSO) which forms the legal basis for the CAZ and states that, amongst other measures, the net proceeds of the scheme would ‘support schools to reduce emissions’ and ‘reduce traffic emissions around schools’. The order allows the council to use net proceeds from the CAZ and is therefore at no additional cost to the council or council taxpayer.

Health Research from Bradford NHS (Born In Bradford) has made it clear that pollution from vehicles is linked to 38% of Bradford’s childhood asthma cases. 1 in 5 of Bradford’s children already has a breathing problem. The Clean Air Schools programme seeks to reduce emissions near schools by working with schools and parents. There will be reductions in cars idling outside schools as a result of new measures. The new programme will also provide specific grants to schools to reduce emissions further, particularly in areas of the poorest air quality. Health research in Bradford has indicated that the largest health benefits from the cleaner air will be felt by the most disadvantaged communities in the city.

Improving air quality around schools is a must for children, parents and staff especially at the beginning and end of the school day. Under the Clean Air Schools Programme, individual schools can apply for grants to implement the most effective solutions to reduce emissions and air pollution. The council will increase the number of wardens who will work in partnership with schools so increasing enforcement and engagement activity in the roads around school sites.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council's Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said,

“Air pollution, especially around schools has negative health impacts on children and families in our district and this is something we must take responsibility to improve.”

 “There are many safety concerns at school drop-off time due to congestion but the impact of toxic fumes from vehicle engines is proven to cause health problems to young children and there’s evidence that it can negatively affect educational attainment too.” 

 “The Clean Air Schools programme is part of our ambition to make the district a safer and cleaner place to be for people of all ages. It’s the first revenue we’ll be spending from the Government directed Clean Air Zone. Working in partnership with schools we will strengthen enforcement and tackle harmful pollution near the school gates. We also want families to be given more opportunities to enjoy active travel to and from school.”