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Schools Streets significantly improved air pollution in London

School Streets in London led to a 23% reduction in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution, according to research published by the Mayor of London. 

Since April 2020, almost 350 School Streets have been delivered across London, this means that the roads surrounding the schools are closed to motor traffic at drop-off and pick-up times, enabling children to walk or cycle to school.

In order to measure the air quality benefits of these new School Streets, 30 sensors from the Breathe London network were installed at 18 primary schools across Brent, Enfield and Lambeth. 

As well as reducing NO2 levels by up to 23%, the data revealed that School Streets had a greater impact on reducing car travel to school compared to the impact of coronavirus.

Alongside this data, Transport for London has also revealed that 73% of parents and carers at schools with School Streets agreed that the measures should remain in place while social distancing is still required.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘I am doing everything in my power to stop Londoners breathing air so filthy that it damages children’s lungs and causes thousands of premature deaths every year. Since 2016, there has been a 97 per cent reduction in the number of schools in areas which exceed the legal pollution limit and I’m committed to bringing that number down to zero.

‘School Streets play an important role in enabling parents and children to walk, cycle or scoot to and from school which has so many benefits, not least in improving air quality. It’s great to see the huge reduction in nitrogen dioxide during pick up and drop off on schools streets – a time where countless children and adults would otherwise be exposed to dangerous emissions. Too many lives are already lost each year as a result of our city’s toxic air and the results of our monitoring study show just how much of a difference reducing car journeys through School Streets makes.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay 

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