THREE quarters of people in Glasgow believe that banning cars around school gates will improve air quality.

A poll commissioned by the British Lung Foundation found residents in the city strongly back a scheme from Glasgow City Council to create Car Free Zones around primaries.

Those zones begin tomorrow at six city schools as pupils return for the first day of the new school year.

For the next 18 months, a trial scheme at Bankhead, Broomhill, Hillhead, Lourdes, Our Lady of the Rosary and St Blane’s primary schools will see temporary pedestrian areas created at the beginning and end of the school day.

Joseph Carter, Head of British Lung Foundation Scotland, said: "We are delighted that Glasgow City Council is taking a lead on tackling poor air quality around schools by introducing these new restrictions on vehicles around schools during the regular school run.

"Air pollution is bad for everyone’s health, but it’s especially dangerous for children whose growing lungs can be permanently damaged by it.


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"With mounting evidence of the harmful health effects of air pollution, we must take bold approaches to protect vulnerable groups from its harmful health effects.

“Banning cars around school gates would make the school run a much more pleasant experience and give children the chance to grow up with healthy lungs.”

The poll found 75 per cent of respondents from Glasgow supported banning cars around schools to improve air quality, with only 10 per cent of people opposed to the move and 15 per cent undecided either way.

The push for the pilot programme follows complaints of risky driving outside schools, obstructive parking that forces pupils on to the road as well as the issues created by congestion and harmful emissions.

The schools chosen for the pilot have a history of complaints and concerns from parent councils, community council and elected members about pupil safety on the school run.

But there is evidence that the schools earmarked for involvement in the scheme experience high levels of car use for the school journey and also have to deal with acute congestion at the school gates.


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Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said: “Unfortunately, Glasgow currently has the highest rate of pupils being driven to school compared to the other cities in Scotland.

"This amount of traffic heading to the school clearly impacts on the wider environment and creates road safety risks at the school gate.

"School car free zones will keep streets around schools clear of cars at the busiest times of the school day.

"We hope school car free zones will give parents greater confidence that their children can walk or cycle to school safely every day."

Bosses said the scheme will be a success if they can show a reduction in congestion and speed of traffic around school gates and increase in the number of children walking and cycling to school alongside a reduction in the number of car trips to school.