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Schools Across The Royal Borough Ask Parents To Leave Their Cars At Home For Car-Free Day

Parents, pupils and teachers from schools across Royal Greenwich all played their part in encouraging more sustainable travel, in support of TfL’s STARS Car-Free Day on 22 September.

The programme has been running for a decade, and has seen more than 1,500 primary and secondary schools taking part in activities designed to help select the most suitable activities to address their travel issues, and reach active travel targets.

The Car Free Day is connected to the Council’s Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) and Sharing Cities programmes which are making big strides in cutting air pollution and congestion in West Greenwich and the Peninsula.

Twenty-five schools in the Royal Borough of Greenwich - a quarter of the 100 schools in London taking part – joined in our Car Free Day.

Pupils helped to promote the day through their school newsletters, social media and assemblies. To further support the aim of a car free day, 10 roads were closed to cars outside schools, allowing pupils to play in the street before the school day started.

TfL’s STARS Car Free Day, which coincides with World Car Free Day, aims to raise awareness about pollution and congestion issues amongst young people, and also provides an opportunity to launch schemes like Park & Stride for those families who live further away.

Reducing journeys associated with the school run can improve pupil’s health and wellbeing, as well as improve air quality, and road safety. Motor vehicles are the single biggest source of atmospheric pollution, contributing an estimated 14% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning.

Leaving the car at home for the school-run could make a huge difference to Greenwich’s air quality, which would help towards the Council’s vision to develop strong communities with safer, cleaner and more attractive neighbourhoods.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability, Councillor Danny Thorpe, said: “It’s about changing attitudes to driving and the pollution that this creates, particularly around our schools during the twice daily school run. School’s Car Free is a great way to help our pupils think about the benefits of walking, cycling, even scooting, rather than getting driven up to the school gates each day, and encouraging their parents, carers and older siblings who may drive, to think about their car use more closely, and the impact that cars create on our air quality.”