The independent London newspaper

School streets show we’re leading from front in tackling pollution

05 April, 2019

Ambler Primary School parents, staff and pupils at its school street launch

• I AM delighted that last week Islington Council launched a further seven trials of school streets, helping to reduce traffic outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times, cutting pollution, improving road safety and encouraging more walking and cycling.

Feedback so far from parents and teachers has been really positive. I am fully committed to rolling out school streets, or similar measures, for all schools in the borough, subject to consultation.

By the end of April, Islington will have 10 school streets in place, putting the borough at the forefront of efforts in London to tackle pollution from unnecessary school-run journeys and through-traffic around our primary schools.

But we know we need to go further. Poor air quality causes 9,000 premature deaths in London every year. It is a major public health issue in Islington, as the borough has some of the highest pollution levels in London.

A study by the Mayor of London found 33 Islington primary schools were located in areas above the recommended threshold for dangerous pollutants.

This is why the council is pursuing several innovative policies to improve air quality, from installing 100 electric vehicle-charging points each year and supporting more people to take up sustainable transport methods like walking and cycling to pushing ahead with schemes like school streets, installing air-quality monitors at every school and banning polluting vehicles at peak hours from streets surrounding Central Foundation School, the most polluted secondary school in Islington.

We are determined to improve air quality however we can. I am delighted that Islington is leading from the front in London with practical action that is making a difference for local people.

Labour executive member for environment and transport, Islington Council


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