Monday 24 August 2020
Green Party MLA Rachel Woods has asked that we are mindful of young people heading back to school this week.
The North Down MLA said: "Road safety is always important but particularly when our young people return to school. The onus rests with drivers to slow down and be aware of cyclists, walkers and to share our roads respectfully.
“The roads will become busier and many pupils will be walking and cycling to school. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of young people and families on bikes and out walking together this year which is great for health and well being.
"Air pollution is always a public health concern but there is a specific problem around exhaust fumes in and around schools. Studies have shown that children were exposed to 30% higher levels of black carbon on the school run along busy roads, primarily because they are closer to vehicle exhausts.
“Toxic particles are believed to be capable of stunting brain growth and causing long-term breathing conditions. That's why drivers shouldn't take their cars close to schools where possible, and to not let vehicle engines idle when parked up.
"Finally, I would like to wish our communities well as schools return. The challenges for everyone involved in education during the pandemic have been huge. Public health is paramount and I hope that all pupils can make a safe return to school in the coming weeks."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498