Metro Mayor targets city region car emissions 

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram launches pilot scheme to reduce vehicle emissions outside Liverpool city region schools. Tony McDonough reports

Greenbank High School
Pupils and staff at Greenbank High School are taking part in School Streets


Two Liverpool city region schools are taking part in a new scheme to cut vehicles emissions and improve air quality.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is working with Greenbank High and Birkdale High near Southport on his new School Streets initiative. This aims to restrict car access to streets outside school gates at drop off and pick up times.

He hopes this will reduce the harmful emissions young people are exposed to and make it safer and easier for them to get to school on foot or by bike.

Pupils from both schools have been instrumental in helping to making the scheme happen.

They have worked with teachers and parents as well as representatives from Sefton Council, the Combined Authority and national walking and cycling charity Sustrans to make the projects a reality.

Kitija Bekmore, year 9 pupil from Greenbank High School said: “By shutting the roads we’ll reduce traffic and create less air pollution which is good for the environment and creates a safe way for students to get to school.”

More than 1,000 deaths a year in the Liverpool city region can be linked to air pollution, a recent study has revealed. The region’s Air Quality Action Plan committed to supporting projects that would help turn the tide and improve air quality across the region.

Mayor Rotheram is also calling on the Government to take stronger action to tackle pollution on a national level.

He said: “Climate change poses an existential threat to all of us, and lives lost to breathing in bad air are a symptom of that. Nobody wants our children to develop breathing difficulties or lung conditions because of something so avoidable.


Birkdale High School
Pupils and staff at Birkdale High School with Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram


School Streets is a valuable tool in ensuring we keep our kids safe… we’re doing our bit to make the air we breathe much less harmful, reduce congestion and make our streets safer.

“But while we are doing everything we can to tackle the climate emergency and pollution head on, we can’t fix this alone.

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“We need the government to do more in terms of its policy decisions and the funding and powers it gives to local areas to tackle this. It is only by working together that we will protect the next generation from the scourge of toxic air.”

Ahead of the two schemes being put in place, local residents, parents and others were consulted directly on the plans, with most of those responding saying they strongly supported the project to reduce harmful emissions at the school gates.

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