Starbeck students in call to drivers to tackle air quality

26 June 2023

Students at Starbeck Primary Academy are urging drivers to turn their engines off if they are waiting at the local level crossings, to tackle air pollution. They took part in a competition, organised by the Starbeck Residents’ Association (SRA), to design a banner to be displayed near to Starbeck station asking motorists to “Stop Idling”.

The Residents’ Association worked with the school last year on a educational campaign and were also supported by Starbeck in Bloom and Zero Carbon Harrogate,. However, as the issue of cars running their engines while waiting at the crossing still persists, the SRA thought a longer-term reminder was needed and again enlisted the school’s help.

Garry de Castro-Morland, Headteacher at Starbeck Primary Academy, said:

This is a vital topic that we continue to discuss with our pupils and work closely with the community to tackle.

Northern Star Academies Trust is a highly active green trust – our Sustainability and Climate Strategy ensures that all schools in our trust, including Starbeck, are at the forefront of developing an innovative curriculum offer which embeds green issues within it but also has a positive impact on our local and wider communities.


Chris Watt, Chair of the Starbeck Residents’ Association, commented:

People using our High Street are being subjected to unnecessary air pollution which could be improved if drivers simply turned off their engines while waiting at the level crossing. They would also save on their own fuel bills.

We were delighted by the passion that the students at Starbeck Primary Academy showed last year when we worked with them on this issue, so wanted to repeat that, but in a way that would have a more lasting impact.

The entries to our competition were amazing, showing huge imagination and creativity and we are delighted with the final banner.

The winner of the competition was Freya Dart from Year 5, who was presented with the prize of a book token by Mr Watt at the school’s assembly, as well as having her banner unveiled.

Chris Watt added:

This is an issue that the Starbeck Residents’ Association has been campaigning on for some time, as people who live locally and so walk up and down our High Street and use our station. We’ve previously been successful in arranging extra signage urging waiting vehicles to turn off their engines and have worked with the bus companies to ask their drivers to do the same.

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