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Clean Air day: Armley pupils make most of traffic-free street

Clean Air Day - Christ Church Upper Armley

Pupils in Armley have been making the most of a traffic-free street outside the school gates this Clean Air Day by brushing up on their bike maintenance skills.

Pupils at Christ Church Upper Armley C of E Primary School were shown how to carry out a basic bike safety check, fix punctures, and adjust brakes and gears – thanks to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60 million CityConnect programme.

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Pupils were free to play all afternoon on Christ Church Road, which was closed to vehicles between 1pm and 4pm as part of 11 school street openings across the city on Clean Air Day organised by Leeds City Council.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said:

“Two-thirds of journeys made by West Yorkshire residents are under five miles. With Public Health England estimating 1 in 20 deaths in West Yorkshire are attributable to air pollution, the case for making more of our journeys by bike, on foot and on public transport has never been stronger.

“From tackling air quality and reducing congestion to combatting physical inactivity and obesity, we know encouraging more of us to cycle and walk is key to overcoming some of our biggest challenges.”

Christ Church Upper Armley and Manston are both CityConnect Bike Friendly Schools. Through the Bike Friendly Schools scheme, which is targeted at schools on or near to CityConnect routes, pupils can access a bike and free cycle training, with funding available for bike and scooter parking, as well as free training for staff to plan and deliver activities – all with the aim of helping more pupils and teachers make more journeys by bike.

Moira Hunt, Headteacher at Christ Church Upper Armley C of E Primary School, said:

“From boosting physical activity to instilling good habits that last a life time, we know encouraging more of our pupils to cycle and walk to school brings real benefits.

“Taking part in CityConnect’s Bike Friendly Schools scheme is a great opportunity for us to help our pupils – the commuters of the future – build active, healthy and pollution-free travel into their daily lives.”

WLD reported last week how residents in Kirkstall had put up signs encouraging people to walk shorter distances rather than drive.

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