Did you know London is 50 per cent above the World Health Organisation guideline for safe levels of air pollution? Or that 16,355 people reportedly die from air pollution-related diseases in London each year?
Councils around London have been taking action to promote cleaner air and reduce traffic pollution, particularly around local schools. Local Liberal Democrats are campaigning for Islington Council to do more to tackle air pollution in the Borough.
Islington has three of the top 20 most polluted primary schools in London, including Canonbury Primary School in St Mary's Ward, where teachers and parents are concerned air pollution will further increase as a result of increased vehicle idling due to the proposed scheme at Highbury Corner.
We are calling for Islington Council to stop just talking about improving air quality in schools and take concrete action, for example by adopting the School Streets scheme that has been so successful in neighbouring Hackney and Camden. This would see the streets around local schools temporarily closed to traffic at school opening and closing times, helping make a safer, more pleasant environment for everyone while ensuring residents, pedestrians and cyclists can still use the road.
Pierre Delarue, a local activist, said: "Islington Council has been complacent in addressing the Borough's high levels of air pollution, yet the impact on children's development is dramatic and well documented. Air pollution must be addressed first in schools. The Council needs a holistic strategy and is wrong to say nothing can be done locally. This is just an excuse for its inaction."