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Half of UK children are worried about air pollution

Half (49%) of UK school pupils are worried about air pollution near their school – an increase of 10% since a similar survey ran in 2018. 

A YouGov poll, commissioned by the walking and cycling charity Sustrans, surveyed 1,305 pupils aged 6 – 15 across the UK to find out about their attitudes towards air pollution and the climate crisis. 

Of those surveyed, just over three fifths (62%) don’t think adults are doing enough to tackle climate change, with 71% of pupils admitting to feeling worried. 

40% of pupils thought more people walking, cycling or scooting to school was the best way to bring down air pollution near their school and 38% said walking and cycling more for local journeys was the most important thing that adults could do. 

Almost three fifths (57%) of pupils described the environment around their school as having too many cars. Seven times as many pupils want to cycle to school and five times as many want to scoot to school more than they currently do. Whilst 2% currently cycle, 14% want to, and whilst 2% currently scoot to school, 10% would like to.

Xavier Brice, CEO of Sustrans, said: ‘The results of this survey highlight the responsibility we have to create a healthier, greener and fairer society for the generation coming after us.

‘With a large number of cars on the road during the morning peak doing the school run, swapping everyday journeys such as how we travel to and from school from private cars to active modes of travel can help cut dangerous levels of air pollution in our towns and cities which have a detrimental impact on the environment.

‘That’s why we’re asking local election candidates and elected officials to ensure that every child has the opportunity and confidence to walk, wheel, scoot or cycle safely to school, using high-quality walking and cycling routes and to accelerate the roll-out of school streets. Let’s ensure our recovery from Covid is greener, fairer and healthier for everyone.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay 

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