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A publication by Jenny Jones, Green Party Member of the London Assembly. This web page reflects my views as an individual Assembly Member and not those of the London Assembly.
Research by the Campaign for Clean Air found that 1,148 schools in London are within 150 metres of roads carrying 10,000 or more vehicles per day, and a total of 2,270 schools are within 400 metres of such roads.
I have estimated, based on the Mayor's projections for pollution levels, that in 2020 there will still be 928 schools near polluted roads. That means that many children will go the whole way through primary school near polluted roads.
Scientific research indicates that children exposed to higher levels of traffic-related air pollution at school and home may be at increased risk of developing asthma. Scientists say living near roads travelled by 10,000 or more vehicles per day could be responsible for some 15-30 per cent of all new cases of asthma in children; and of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and CHD (coronary heart disease) in adults 65 years of age and older.
This map shows those schools within 150m of roads with over 10,000 vehicles a day. Click on a number to zoom in and see all the schools in that area.
The GLA funds a programme called Clean Air 4 Schools. This helps teachers, pupils and parent learn more about air pollution, how to reduce the harm they are exposed to, and steps the school can take to make a small difference to the air pollution levels in their area. Currently funding is very limited, but in the Green Group budget amendment I have pressed the Mayor to allocate £800k so all of the worst affected schools can take it up. If you'd like to take this up at your school, contact details are on the LSX web site.
The Mayor of London and the Government can also introduce policies to clean up London's air, such as:
Reduce polluting traffic by lowering public transport fares, and by making it nicer and safer to walk and cycle.
Only buy hybrid buses and aim for zero emission (electric and hydrogen fuel cell) buses by 2020.
Bring forward the Mayor's Ultra Low Emission Zone, only allowing clean vehicles into central London.
What do you think about air pollution near schools in London and the possible solutions? Let me know.
The data used for this page was obtained by Clean Air in London from Transport for London.
For more information on air pollution in London, read the London Assembly Environment Committee's recent issues paper.