Show you care about clean air, say St Helens Borough primary school pupils
To mark Clean Air Day (15 June), primary school pupils in St Helens borough with a passion for reducing traffic pollution and congestion have been praised for showing their creative side in a bid to make motorists think twice about where they park.
Article date: 15 June 2023
St John Vianney Catholic Primary School and Longton Lane Primary School - which will both sit on a key active travel route - were invited by St Helens Borough Council to take part in a competition which tasked pupils with designing banners to be displayed outside their school, highlighting the importance of clean air.
In total, more than 120 entries were received, which was narrowed down to four winners, with Noah, Year 4, and Mayar, Year 5, from St John Vianney Primary School, along with Ella, Year 3, and Evelyn, Year 6, from Longton Lane Primary School, impressing judges with their catchy messages: 'We Care About Clean Air!' and 'Show You Care About Clean Air! Park Elsewhere.'
It comes as St Helens Borough Council makes progress on an active travel route to link Lea Green to Whiston Hospital, running along Elton Head Road from the Linkway, right through to Holt Lane, which is now at the design stage following a successful bid to secure £1.390m of Active Travel Tranche 4 funding from Active Travel England to construct the route.
St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Climate Change, Councillor Andy Bowden, said: "School drop-off and pick up times are always a busy affair so the last thing we need is a number of vehicles inconsiderately parked outside the gates with the engines running, which causes congestion and pollution. This is felt by the pupils themselves, so I'd like to thank Noah, Mayar, Ella and Evelyn for getting the message across through these eye-catching banners and congratulate them on a job well done.
"Generally, children and young people don't have that far to go to get to and from school, so active travel such as walking, cycling and scooting should be encouraged at every opportunity to change habits which in turn can reduce congestion and emissions around schools, while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle."
Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron MBE, St Helens Borough Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport, added:
"As a council, we are looking to set the benchmark on how active travel should be done, making sure it is a key component in ongoing and future projects, including the Lea Green to Whiston Hospital route.
"You've only got to look at the works advancing down at Lea Green Railway Station, which will see Merseyside's first CYCLOPS (Cycle Optimised Protected Signals) junction. On top of several new walking and cycling routes from Lea Green, to understand our level of commitment to ensuring the correct, safe infrastructure is in place for people to consider cycling and walking as an alternative to driving for short journeys, and we will use funding available to us to further strengthen our position to play a key role in the Liverpool City Region's ambition to kickstart an active travel revolution."
For more information on active travel schemes in St Helens borough, visit: www.sthelens.gov.uk/activetravel