Air quality sensors will be installed outside Bury’s schools to monitor how pollution concentrations are influenced by the school run.

Three air quality sensors will provide real-time data that can be used by the school to inform decision making around operations but can also feed into the curriculum by providing students with hands-on scientific data.

The mobile sensors will be up and running by the start of the autumn term, and will be moved around the borough to enable as many schools as possible to take part.

Poor air quality is attributed to 28,000-36,000 deaths per year in the UK (including 1200 in Greater Manchester) and is now the biggest environmental threat to health, according to Public Health England. Studies have shown that children are particularly vulnerable to air pollution given that their lungs are still developing.

Councillor Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment, climate change and operations, said: “On Bury’s roads alone, 1.1 billion vehicle miles were travelled in 2019, and 38% of the car journeys in Greater Manchester are less than 2km.

“Car journeys dropped considerably in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and, as we get back to normal life, this is the perfect opportunity to change our behaviour to protect the environment.

“There are 30,000 pupils at 65 schools across the borough. We need to raise awareness of the issues and highlight to parents and teachers that we need to move towards alternative methods of travelling around Bury.

“These monitors will provide accurate information and trends to demonstrate how significantly air quality near our schools is affected by drop off and pick up times.”


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