Local Primary Schools Tackle Air Pollution through Prevent the Cough Campaign

Monday 6th March 2023

Ards and North Down Borough Council is working alongside Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council to tackle air pollution through a campaign that focuses on the dangers of engine idling.

The Mayor and a group of schoolchildrena nd their teachers are standing in front of the school with a display board for the Engine OFf campaign

Harmful gases can be released when a vehicle engine is running but the vehicle isn’t moving. The ‘Prevent the Cough’ campaign, which is part-funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, aims to educate students, parents and the general public on the dangers of keeping their engines running while waiting in and around schools.

Eight primary schools in both council areas are already taking part in the initiative while more are being invited to sign up. All schools are provided with educational materials and resource packs to help them develop their own ‘no idling’ projects, including signs to showcase their work around the schools.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Karen Douglas, recently visited St. Mary’s Primary School in Kircubbin where students displayed their Prevent the Cough project work. The Mayor said:

“Our children are exposed to unnecessary air pollution by vehicles idling needlessly outside school gates at drop off and pick up times. This campaign will help to raise everyone’s awareness of the issue and help to limit air pollution during school runs. It is important that we all do our bit to tackle the problem and it was wonderful to have an opportunity to see some of the excellent work that the children at St. Marys Primary School have created.”

Primary schools in Ards and North Down that wish to take part should contact the Council’s Environmental Health, Protection and Development team to avail of Prevent the Cough materials. Email env.health@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk or telephone 0300 013 3333.

For more information, visit No Idling Campaign | Ards and North Down Borough Council

Photo caption: Mr Dorrian (Principal) with Mr Kelly (Year 5 teacher), Mayor Karen Douglas, Mrs Donnelly (Year 5 teacher) and Year 5 pupils displaying their Prevent the Cough project work. Image: Ian Pedlow.