19 Mar 2018

Schools to be consulted on plans to improve air quality and safety during school-run

Schools in Islington are set to be asked their views on a new scheme aiming to bring cleaner air and safer streets to pupils, reducing traffic and encouraging children and parents to walk or cycle to school.

The School Streets Scheme would operate in roads directly outside the entrance to schools, preventing both through-traffic and drop-offs and collections at both ends of the school day.

The scheme is designed to create an environment that encourages more walking and cycling, improves air quality and reduces emissions.

Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport, announced the news at St John Evangelist Roman Catholic Primary School in Angel.

She said: “We are determined to improve air quality however we can, and really need to address the issue of pollution from unnecessary school-run journeys and through-traffic around our primary schools.

“Most parents don’t live far from their children’s schools and already do the school run by walking or cycling.

“It’s much healthier than driving to the school gates, which not only adds to road congestion, air pollution and stress, but makes the streets around schools more hazardous for all children – including their own.

“We are launching consultations with a number of schools, mainly primaries, to raise awareness and gauge views on these proposals, which offer health benefits to children and parents across the whole school community.”

The proposals would see signs displaying the restricted times, and information given to the school community, neighbouring residents and businesses. Exemptions will be available to businesses and residents in the street, and Blue Badge holders.

In a recent study for the Mayor of London, St John Evangelist was found to be the most polluted primary school in Islington for nitrogen dioxide, one of the main pollutants.

It will be one of the first to take part in the consultation, alongside nearby residents and businesses, and if there is a positive response it will be the first of several schools to run an 18-month pilot scheme.


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Notes to editors

 

Notes to editor

 

The pilot schemes would run for an 18-month period before being assessed.

Air pollution has long-term health impacts and causes the equivalent of nearly 9,500 deaths a year in London.

It increases the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases but is also increasingly being linked to a range of other health conditions such as cancer and diabetes.

Children are one of the groups particularly vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution and air pollution has been seen to decrease lung development in children.

Many of Islington’s schools are located in or near areas of poor air quality. A study by the Mayor of London found 33 Islington primary schools were located in areas above the recommended threshold for nitrogen dioxide, one of the main pollutants. More information: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/hundreds-of-schools-exceed-air-quality-limits

Islington Council is working hard to improve air quality, and around half of Islington’s air pollution is caused by road traffic. For more information on our other air quality work see www.islington.gov.uk/energy-and-pollution/pollution/air-quality.