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Pollution down 20% following ban on traffic outside Dublin school

Traffic pollution outside a north Dublin primary school that has banned school run traffic has fallen by 20% since the policy was introduced.

Parents were banned from dropping their children at the gates of St Oliver Plunkett's National School in Malahide by Fingal County Council.

Surveys carried out at the national school indicated a 50% increase in the number of pupils walking, cycling or scooting to school since the ban was put in place.

As part of the scheme, the council gave parents free permits for car parks located a 10-15 minute walk from the school.

Fingal has also issued parents with stickers that allow them to park for free in pay-and-display spaces in the town for two hours

The Fingal initiative is being watched by other local authorities including Dublin city council.

Director of Friends of the Earth, Oisin Coughlan said that he was impressed by the results of the ban but wants the next government to do more to encourage people to "active travel".

The one future campaign that Friends of the Earth is part of for the election is calling for two-thirds of their transport budget to go into public transport, cycling and walking.

"That's what the Citizens' Assembly recommended. At the moment it's only one-third.

"None of the major parties have yet come on board with that two-thirds investment, it's a big shift and it would pay real dividends.

"And we only spend 2% of our transport budget on cycling, whereas the UN recommends 20% on cycling and walking."

The traffic ban is in place between 8.30am and 9.15am and between 1pm and 2.45pm, with retractable bollards closing off the road.

Local residents and disabled drivers are allowed through.