Concerned parents had their say after a council wrote to more than 50 schools in the borough about the dangers of idling vehicles, particularly during ‘school functions’. Gedling City Council have written to schools asking for their support in educating parents about the problem, with concerns raised about the release of harmful pollutants into the air.
Children are said to be at particular risk because they have smaller lungs and breathe faster, as well as spending more time outdoors. Upon learning of the warning, parents outside Porchester Junior School, Carlton, say they are very supportive of actively trying to educate people about the dangers of idling vehicles, with one woman saying she is “embarrassed” that the people still do it. .
Studies have also shown that exposure to air pollution can lead to respiratory problems, including asthma, coughing, bronchitis, and other health problems. The support of Gedling Schools is now being requested to educate parents on the importance of turning off their engines when parked, whether they are waiting to pick up or drop off their children, or parked near the school.
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Tanya Rethby, 51, works as a nanny. She said, “I always turn mine off, but I know there are a lot of people who do it because I see it all the time. It really bothers me. It’s embarrassing that it still happens.”
“There are people who wait 10 or 15 minutes, you know, sometimes even half an hour if they’re early. You can turn off the engine and still listen to music.”
“I just think it’s selfish because people clearly don’t care about the long-term effects it has on people.”
Local resident Steven Edwards, 47, said: “Well, it’s worrying. I have to be honest, I used to do it all the time, but I think that’s why it’s become something I notice more now.”
“People might not think it’s a big deal, but there are parents waiting outside school for a while with their cars still running. If there’s one place you don’t want that to happen, it’s a school!
“It’s good that the council is trying to do something about it. I know they’re trying to become more environmentally friendly, which is good. I just don’t think enough people care.”
Gedling municipal council says the measures support the Air Quality Action Plan, as well as its commitment to become net zero carbon by 2030. Last year, the council introduced anti-idling legislation across the Gedling district , which states that drivers can receive a flat £20 notice fine (FPN), increasing to £40 if not paid within 28 days.
However, the council has described FPNs as a “last resort” and no fines have yet been issued.
Gedling Borough Leader, Councilor John Clarke, said: “Air pollution is a serious problem, one that we all play a part in. It affects not only our health, but also the environment and climate.”
“One area of concern where drivers are often found to be idling is around our schools, but by raising awareness of this specific issue, together we can make a real difference. We are asking for the support of our local schools, to work Join us and help educate parents about the dangers of idling cars, and encourage them to change their habits for the health of their children and the community.”
Gedling City Council Climate Change Officer, Sim Duhra said; “It is very important to reduce emissions from cars idling near schools. These emissions can cause serious damage to our health, especially for children, in addition to contributing to climate change.
“Cutting off your engine while you wait near schools is a very simple thing, but it can help protect our children and the planet.”