Parents across Britain will be banned from driving their child to school in a bid to cut air pollution and protect children.
A new scheme will fine parents £50 at the school gates and in some cases penalties leading to points on their licences.
Thousands of schools are set to trial schemes in a bid to slash the level of toxic fumes being breathed in by their children.
Campaigners want the ban to be rolled out across the entire country
Alison Cook, director of policy and communications at the British Lung Foundation charity, said: “Toxic air is linked to asthma and chronic chest problems, and damage to the lungs in early age is irreversible.
“That’s why illegal levels of pollution around schools is hugely worrying.”
Dangerous levels of toxic air pollution are leading to a rise in asthma cases in young people. Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah’s daughter Ella died at the age of nine from an asthma attack.
The mother believes that it was caused due to the illegal high levels of air pollution at the school her daughter’s school in Lewisham, South East London.
Mrs Adoo-Kissi-Debrah said: “The UK has the highest rates for asthma deaths in Europe.
“Pollution levels can soar by as much as 50 per cent by cars left running, commonly occurring at school gates.
“I can’t stress enough how damaging this is to our children’s health.
“The only way we can really make a difference is for uniform rules across the whole country,” she said.
Police officers in Solihull, West Midlands are backing the school by issuing £50 to drivers flouting the rules.
A report released in 2018 revealed that nearly 2,000 schools are in areas with dangerously high levels of toxic air pollution.
Chris Bennett of transport charity Sustrans, which is helping to pilot some of the schemes, said: “Helping more schools to implement street closures during school pickup and drop-off time will significantly help reduce children’s exposure to air pollution while creating a safer environment for pupils, parents and teachers.”
There are an estimated 40,000 premature deaths in the UK linked to air pollution.
Published at Mon, 25 Feb 2019 09:19:00 +0000