To coincide with national Clean Air Day (8 October 2020), Wokingham Borough Council has today launched a children’s design competition to encourage drivers across the borough to switch off their engines when stationary.
The council, who declared a Climate Emergency last year and is working toward becoming carbon neutral by 2030, is inviting budding young artists, with a passion to protect our environment, to help redesign signage around Wokingham Station and Twyford crossroads.
The council was recently praised by the Public Protection Partnership for its proactive and dedicated approach to improving air quality across the area, and is hoping that young residents’ eye catching designs will help drivers to remember to stop their engines idling and help reduce air pollution across the borough.
The competition is being run by My Journey, a team within the council’s Highways Department dedicated to promoting borough-wide active and sustainable travel. Their aim is to help and inspire Wokingham residents, employees and visitors of all ages to walk, scoot, cycle or use buses or trains where possible and in turn improve air quality across the borough and bring us one step closer to carbon neutrality.
The team successfully signed up 24 Wokingham borough schools to take part in walk to school week this week where children have been taking up the challenge to walk, cycle, scoot or park and stride to school. Schools who signed up received a pack for each class and the school was provided with a QR code for the children to log their walks.
The My Journey team are also working with schools to encourage them to take up longer term challenges including The Living Streets’ Walk Once a Week (WOW) challenge. Eight schools are currently taking part in WOW for the whole of the autumn term and schools interested in taking part in this initiative should contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team will be welcoming an eco-travel officer to join the team this week to work with schools in the Wokingham and Twyford areas, which is paid for through the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) funding from the government.
Conservative Cllr Gregor Murray, executive member for climate emergency and ward member for Norreys, said: “We are working hard to improve air quality across the borough to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents and the environment, but we cannot do this without the support of our residents, businesses and visitors.
“Making small changes can have a big impact if we all take up the challenge, like turning off our engines when our cars are stationary or walking or cycling instead of using the car where possible.
“I look forward to seeing all the entries from our young people – I’m sure they will be an eye catching reminder for us all to help improve our environment for their futures.”