Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds scoot-to-school scheme tackles pollution

Scooters being used by school children
Image caption It is hoped the scheme will reduce the number of cars on the school run

Primary schools in Leeds are to be given 400 scooters in a bid to encourage children to scoot to school instead of being driven.

It is part of the city's scheme to tackle air pollution and protect children's health.

The scooters are to be given to 30 schools mostly within a Clean Air Charging Zone that is to be introduced in 2020.

The council said if successful more schools could get scooters.

The operators of lorries, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles are to face charges of up to £50 per day to enter Leeds' clean air zone from January 2020.

By reducing the number of cars on the school run, the idea is to improve air quality near the primary schools and help the city reach national air quality targets, the council said.

James Lewis, a council executive board member, said: "Instead of a boring drive to class, children will now be able to safely scoot to school with their friends and parents instead, which is a lot more fun."

Image copyright Sustrans
Image caption Sustrans organises an annual Big Pedal event to encourage scooter use

Rosslyn Colderley, of Sustrans, a sustainable transport charity, said: "Scooters are a great way of getting children active on the school run.

"We welcome schemes like this which encourage more people to walk, scoot or cycle as they help to tackle chronic problems in the UK such as traffic congestion, air pollution and obesity."

The charity's latest survey found 4.4% of pupils in England and Wales scoot to school as their main mode of transport and almost 13% sometimes use them to get to school.

As well as funding for new scooters and storage, schools would receive scooter training, the council added.

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