Contribution to sustainable travel - Organisation

Winchester Schools’ Air Quality Investigation

Winchester City centre was declared a Air Quality Management Area because the levels of nitrogen dioxide due to road traffic are exceeding national standards. So it was agreed with The School Travel Planning teams at Hampshire County Council (HCC) and the environmental team at Winchester City Council (WCC) to monitor the air quality around five schools and a college in the area. The project enabled teams of students to compare the air pollution levels in different locations around and beside their schools and college grounds and at different times over the academic year. The students were then tasked to produce campaign plans reduce air pollution with the main aim to use air quality issues to encourage schools in Winchester to promote sustainable and active travel on the school run with the sustainable travel brand for Hampshire, My Journey.

Local Authority contact details

Jean MacGrory, School Travel Planning Team, Hampshire County Council My Journey Hampshire,, 01962 845638

Who was involved & what was their role?

P. Tidridge, Scientific Officer, WCC J. Banks, Head of Environmental Studies, Peter Symond’s College L. Kent, Eco team leader, Kings’ School, M. Shelton, Eco team leader, Oliver’s Battery Primary J. Player, Eco team leader, St Bede C of E Primary K. O’Sullivan, Team leader, King’s Worthy Primary A. Hartnell, Living Streets Project Officer J. MacGrory, Air Quality Project Leader

Details of cost – budget, sources of funding

The diffusion tubes used over the autumn and spring terms cost £439.20 including VAT. The diffusion tubes deployed over the summer term were donated by the suppliers. Main funding came through Hampshire County Council’s My Journey Travel Planning team via Department for Transport Transition and Access grant.

How was it developed?

The six teams were provided with sets of diffusion tubes to measure the average monthly levels of nitrogen dioxide associated with road traffic. The School Travel Planning team developed a toolkit of learning resources for each team to use and visits were made to the schools to introduce the project to the teams, assist with the positioning of the tubes and to discuss progress.Two sets of diffusion tubes were deployed over each term. One set sampling four weeks of term time and one set that included a week of half term holiday to gain an indication of the impact of school traffic on air quality. The nitrogen dioxide results from all the sites were shared with all the schools and both councils. In the spring term the teams were invited to enter a competition to produce the best ‘air quality improvement campaign’ plan and the teams that achieved this were rewarded with prizes.

What was the outcome, including information on future plans - one-off, on-going, develop further?

The project successfully raised awareness about the air pollution caused by road vehicles, its detrimental health impacts and the benefits of active travel. The project team leaders of St Peter’s Primary and Kings’ School were trained in use of Modeshift STARS and Kings’ School gained its Bronze award on NCAD along with St Bede’s Primary school had a clean air picnic to support the campaign further. Certain activities that were implemented as a result of the air quality project included: Peter Symond’s College team worked with Living Streets to run a walking promotion event with staff and students St Peter’s Catholic Primary School approached a local supermarket who agreed to allow parents to use their car park as a P&S site King’s Worthy Primary relaunched its WOW scheme Next autumn, St Bede Primary, Kings’ School and Peter Symond’s College will participate in a second phase of this scheme and this project will be replicated in at least five other Hampshire districts next yea

How does this initiative or project meet the criteria?

The Winchester Schools’ Air Quality Investigation showed engagement and involvement with the target group which was pupils, students, and staff. They got involved in the air quality monitoring and designed their own campaign plans to raise awareness of reducing air pollution. The project involved a joined up approach as Hampshire County Council School Travel Planning team worked with other local authorities, charity partners and the schools and college themselves. This resulted in barriers being identified and My Journey being used as a solution towards reducing air pollution.

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