Byrne calls for action on emissions at school gates

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne, has said a countrywide ban on all private cars and commercial vehicles idling in the vicinity of school gates should be examined.

His calls come as a NASA sponsored project to monitor air pollution outside schools found that the average nitrogen dioxide levels were 30% higher on the roads outside of schools.

Deputy Byrne said, „Every day, thousands of cars across Ireland line up outside schools with their engines running as parents drop-off their children or wait for their children to come out of school. Fianna Fáil believe that this is wholly unnecessary and should be brought to an end.

„We believe that the private car should not be the primary mode of transport for children to and from school. As well as strengthening the alternatives offered to pupils and ensuring a greener transport system, we believe that schools should have the option to take action to improve the air quality surrounding them.

„Each year there are in the region of 1,700 new cases of childhood asthma as a result of poor air quality. We know that this is due, in part, to the large amount of time our children spend in the vicinity of car exhausts.

„A Fianna Fáil Government will aim to ban cars from leaving their engines running while in traffic dropping off and picking up their children. We will also empower Local Authorities to allow them to close the roads in the vicinity of schools during times when children are likely to be at play. The safety of children will be to the forefront of any plans”, concluded Deputy Byrne.

Fianna Fáil

Thomas Byrne TD

Spokesperson on Education

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