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Public Health England Wants to Ban Idling Cars from UK School Zones

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ExhaustThe U.K. ranks high on the list of European regions that have introduced significant protocols to help reduce carbon emissions and promote more eco-friendly vehicles.  Thus, it’s not surprising that U.K. public health agency Public Health England recently published its latest recommendations to the government for improving outdoor air quality and public health. One of its key recommendations is to ban cars from idling outside of schools.

Recommendations for no-idling zones

Director for health protection and medical director of PHE, Prof. Paul Cosford is one of the leaders spearheading the proposed ban. He views it as an issue impacting posterity. “Let’s have a generation of children brought up free from the scourge and the harms of air pollution,” he said. He also encouraged U.K. residents to ask themselves what practical things they could do to help schools have the cleanest air possible.

The PHE report also extended its suggestions beyond school zones. The agency advised local authorities to establish no-idling zones in other public areas like care homes and hospitals.

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Additional recommendations

Per BBC News, the report also included ways that local authorities could help improve air quality. Implementing low-emission or clean-air zones was one recommendation. The PHE also encouraged installing more pedestrian and cycling paths, as well as investing in more eco-friendly public transportation. City planners could also design cities with layouts that would help distance residents from pollution. For example, they could plant hedges along roads and make the streets wider.

Sobering statistics, rumors of positive change

The PHE’s report wasn’t just suggestions, though. It also left readers with a sobering statistic related to the widespread negative effect of air pollution. The agency claimed that long-term exposure to air pollution contributed to 28,000 to 36,000 fatalities in the U.K. each year.

We await more news in the days ahead as local authorities in the U.K. consider establishing no-idling zones in schools and other public areas. It will also be interesting to see what other changes the region makes as it strives for cleaner air to help improve public health.

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News Sources: Business Green, BBC