Pupils in Glasgow benefited from safer and healthier streets when their road was closed to traffic this week (19 June).

Living Streets Scotland, part of the UK walking charity partnered with Glasgow City Council’s Development and Regeneration Services to support Garnetbank Primary School in their campaign to ‘go green’ and improve air quality.

Renfrew Street – the street directly outside the school gates – was closed to all vehicles from 8am on 19 June with pupils, staff and families encouraged to walk, cycle or scoot to school instead.

The street became a space for celebration and play instead of traffic, with a range of sustainable and environmentally-friendly activities, workshops, education sessions and exhibitions taking place.

Clean Air Day pupils

Rebecca Simpson, Project Manager, Living Streets Scotland said:

“We were delighted to support the enthusiastic pupils and staff at Garnetbank Primary School with their ‘Go Green’ Campaign and street closure event.

“Walking to school is a positive action parents can take to help clean up our air. We know this isn’t an easy option for all families but this event has been a great way for families to give walking to school a go and see how it might fit into their day long-term.

“Not only does it stand to make a huge difference to their child’s health by reducing congestion and improving air quality, but we’ve seen from this closure that it opens up a whole lot of space for fun.”

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Garnetbank Primary School is the most inner-city school in Glasgow and situated next to the motorway. Pupils at the school were instrumental in planning the street closure event.

Linda Reid, Head teacher, Garnetbank Primary said:

Our school is the most city centre school in Glasgow, next to the motorway. We want to respond to the climate emergency and are kick-starting a longer-term whole school sustainability focus with a Green day on June 19th. We have 34 languages from over 78 countries, so I’m hoping that due to our global connections, our children understand how interconnected things are and that also they can spread messages far and wide to push for change.”

The Street Closure and Go Green campaign has the support of the Lord Provost, who attended the event to present prizes to the winners of an Air Quality banner design competition ran by SEPA, supported by Living Streets Scotland and Cycling Scotland.

Glasgow’s Lord Provost Eva Bolander said:

It is inspiring to know our young people are so passionate about our planet. Climate change affects us all. Action like this focusses the minds on how best to protest our children’s future.”

Organisations supporting the day included SEPA, Cycling Scotland, PEEK, Free Wheel North, Blairdrummond Safari, Dougie Cunningham (Photographer/Author) The National Marine Conservation Society, RSPB, Architecture Fringe Festival Exhibition (Urban Street Play’. Zig Zag Arts Eco Arts, FROGGS (friends of Garnethill Green Spaces) Parent Council, Bee Conservation Society, Apparel Xchange and others.