Now children are back at school, Surrey County Council is encouraging parents and carers to switch off their car engines while they’re waiting to pick up children at the end of the day to help improve air quality.

Earlier in the summer Mike Goodman, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, went out with children from Buckland Primary School in Staines to speak to drivers at the end of the school day. Find out what happened by watching this short video.

This follows the declaration by Surrey County Council of a ‘climate emergency’ earlier in the year, and Surrey Heartlands partners are being asked to consider their role in helping to reduce carbon emissions across the county.

At the same time, the Rethinking Transport, initiated by Surrey County Council (as a partnership piece of work), is working with partners and citizens to reimagine transport in Surrey: developing new, sustainable transport options; and rethinking how residents access communities, employment, health, social care, education and other key services, and in so doing helping to avoid unnecessary travel, with the following broad ambitions:

  • Journeys across the county are easier, more predictable and safer;
  • Communities are well connected; and
  • Residents can live in clean, safe and green communities, where people are mindful of their environmental impacts.

Engagement with residents and partner organisations has shown that there is a shared wish to reduce congestion, improve air quality and increase flexible and independent travel.  We had the chance to discuss this project at our last Partnership Forum meeting in July, where around 100 local stakeholders spent some time exchanging views around transport and putting forward ideas for thought. 

These programmes are also helping to make a contribution towards our work across Surrey to tackle ‘the wider determinants of health’, those social, economic and environmental factors that impact on people’s health – things like air pollution, education and social capital which includes our sense of belonging to a community – all part of our wider ambition described in the new Surrey Health and Wellbeing Strategy.