Today members of the Clean Air and Healthy Streets subgroup of the Whalley Range Climate Action Group met to plan further awareness-raising activities with schools in Whalley Range. The climate action group is an informal network of around 40 local people, currently building-on the success of Clean Air Day in June, which saw a road outside of a Whalley Range school closed to vehicles.
Closing the road enabled young children to play freely without the fear of traffic and most importantly to learn about the importance of clean air. Measurements taken on Clean Air Day showed a clear reduction in fumes on the closed street compared to when it was open.
Supported by the Clean Air Group, schoolchildren are now developing a car-idling parking ticket, Spare the Air, issued by the children to make parents aware of the harms of car fumes such as the onset of asthma and acute exacerbation of other respiratory illnesses.
One parent has said, “Driving my asthmatic son to school, I had no idea that he was breathing fumes inside the car as well as outside.”
Another idea has been to develop a game of snakes and ladders aimed at families and promoting less harmful ways of getting children to school and the health benefits of walking.
Local Whalley Rangers volunteering in the climate action group are also lobbying Manchester City Council to increase knowledge and action for clean air across the city for the benefit of individuals, families and whole communities.