A local campaign group has been spreading the word about air pollution in Burngreave.

The Burngreave Clean Air Campaign was set up after residents found out five out of 12 of the most polluted schools in Sheffield are in Burngreave.

Illegal levels of air pollution were found outside Abbeyfield Academy and Oasis Academy.

The group, made up of local residents, has been campaigning for the last 18 months. They monitor air and petition outside local schools to raise awareness.

Campaign member, Luise Hunt, said: “We as a group want to look at air pollution as one bit of the issue, we’d like to be part of something that improves the future. It’s like pressing a button, everyone’s concerned, you can even taste it sometimes.”

Luise Hunt, Burngreave Clean Air Campaign member

Last summer the group was involved in a ‘walking to school’ project with Oasis Academy to try and reduce air pollution outside the school gates. After its success the group hopes to get more than one school involved and even a city-wide ‘walk to school day’.

According to Ms Hunt, air pollution in Burngreave is mainly caused by traffic. She noted that it is the main route to the North of Sheffield, M1, Northern General Hospital and Meadowhall.

Engine idling has been the biggest problem. Ms Hunt said: “Actually people don’t realise that the person behind the wheel with engine idling is most at risk.”

The group have handed leaflets out to local residents explaining what engine idling is, as well as facts and figures on air pollution.

Ms Hunt explained the need to keep bus fares affordable and have better public transport links between Hallamshire Hospital and Northern General Hospital. She also encouraged cycling and walking to reduce emissions in the area.

However, she added: “In the end it’s about investment. Something has to change and the best thing would be if central government took on climate change. The local council have been great but they simply don’t have the money or resources.”

The council have told the group they want more campaigns like this to help spread the word in the city. This comes shortly after the councils plans to introduce a city centre congestion charge early next year.



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