Road closed outside Barnsley school to mark Clean Air Day

A road outside a Hoyland primary school is closed to traffic today (June 17), to mark a national clean air day campaign, and the school street road closure project.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 2:25 pm

A section of Shaftesbury Avenue outside Hoyland Springwood Primary School is closed to motor traffic today, in a bid to encourage younsters to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

The temporary closure will allow parents and pupils to walk to school safely during the busiest times of the day, reduce car journeys and improve air quality.

Youngsters can also look forward to a jam-packed schedule to encourage physical activity, such as scooter skills sessions, skipping workshops and theatre workshops.

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The closure.
The closure.

Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign and looks to inspire people to take simple steps to protect their health, their families’ health, and children’s health from air pollution.

Using funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), a further nine road closure events will occur at other schools around the borough, where it is intended that changes in air quality will be monitored.

Mrs Jennifer Hunt, Hoyland Springwood Head Teacher, said that the whole school community has embraced active travel, and are looking forward to a day of off-timetable activities.

“We’re doing it for everyone’s health – not just children, but parents as well.

“The fact that we can reclaim the road today is just a great opportunity.

“We’ve had the best sign up for the scooter skills that we’ve ever had, and the children are really embracing it.”

Public Health England say Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK, with up to 36,000 deaths a year attributed to long-term exposure.

Councillor Jim Andrews, Barnsley Council’s deputy leader, said air quality around the Hermes warehouse in Hoyland, which is under construction just a couple of miles from the school, is a “concern.”

Protesters are concerned about air pollution from articulated lorries which will use the warehouse once complete.

“It will be a major distribution hub where it will be articulated lorries that come in, and articulated lorries that go out,” Coun Andrews said.

“They will be asked to use the bypass at Hoyland Common which brings them out at the bottom of Parkside.

“Hopefully, people like Hermes will be investing in electric vehicles.

“There will be trees on planted on that site, it’s all going to be landscaped.”