Pupils tell parents to switch off their engines


Pupils have told parents to switch off their car engines when they’re parked up or in a queue that’s not moving to help improve air quality in a series of powerful posters.

Children at St John’s Church of England Primary in St John’s Place, Canterbury, and St Thomas’ Catholic Primary in Military Road, Canterbury, have been taking part in a Canterbury City Council competition to persuade people not to let their engines run unnecessarily or to find other ways to get to school.

The winners at St John’s were Tia Sims in Year 3 and Tabitha Taylor in Year 5. (Pictured below)

Tia Sims and Tabitha Taylor from St John’s in Canterbury with the Sheriff of Canterbury Cllr Jeanette Stockley

The winners at St Thomas’ were Harry Weston and Isabell Pelczar both in Year 2. (Pictured below)

Harry Weston and Isabell Pelczar from St Thomas’ with the Sheriff of Canterbury Cllr Jeanette Stockley

Harry and Tia’s designs have been made into posters and Isabell and Tabitha’s designs have been made into flyers.

Thursday (21 June) is Clean Air Day across the country and on Friday, the consultation closes on the council’s Draft Air Quality Action Plan. You can share your ideas with us here.

Sheriff of Canterbury Cllr Jeanette Stockley said: “We were really impressed with how much hard work and passion went into all of the posters.

“They reinforce the message we all have a role to play in reducing pollution and improving the air that we breathe.

“There are lots of practical steps people can take to reduce pollution – walk or cycle on short journeys rather than drive every so often, turn off your engine off when you are stuck at level crossings or in a queue that’s just not moving, regularly service your car and make sure your tyres are pumped up.”

The winning posters and flyers will be joined by a selection of the other entries on display at the Breathing Canterbury exhibition in the Front Room at the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge.

The exhibition, from  21 July to 30 September, is being co-ordinated by artist Trudi Field.

On Tuesday (26 June), Canterbury City Council launches its Park and Pedal scheme at Wincheap Park and Ride.

Cyclists who sign up will be able to leave their bike in a high security compound.

They will then be able to drive to the car park each morning before grabbing their bike and heading into the city helping to cut the queues and improving air quality.

Park and pedallers will be able to park for free once they have paid a £15 deposit for their keycard.

The scheme has largely been funded by a £21,300 grant from Kent County Council.

For more information on Park and Pedal, visit canterbury.gov.uk/parkandpedal.