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News - September/October 2017

Mayor brings in air quality audits for London primaries

Mayor brings in air quality audits for London primaries

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is introducing the first of 50 “air quality audits” for primary schools in the worst polluted areas in London to help protect children from toxic air in the capital.

The audits will examine new ways to dramatically lower emissions and exposure to pollution in and around schools. They will be completes by the end of 2017, with reports ready by March 2018. Audit recommendations could include: moving school entrances and play areas to reduce exposure to busy roads; minimising emissions from boilers, kitchens and other sources; changes to local roads, including improved road layouts, restricting the most polluting vehicles round schools and pedestrianisation around school entrances; and green infrastructure such as “barrier bushes” along busy roads and in playgrounds to help to filter toxic fumes.

The 50 schools to be audited are part of a pilot, which if successful, the Mayor hopes boroughs will take the lead and audit every school located in an area of high pollution.

Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “It is shameful that children across London are breathing in toxic air simply by going to and from school and I am determined to do everything in my power to safeguard their health.

“These air quality audits are a big step towards helping some of the most polluted schools in London identify effective solutions to protect pupils from toxic fumes.”

The audits come as research from ClientEarth shows more than 950 schools across Britain are within 160 yards of roads where pollution levels exceed legal limits.

ClientEarth air quality lawyer Alan Andrews said: “Thousands of children in this country are playing in playgrounds near illegally polluted roads. This is a legal and moral failing of our political leaders that puts children’s health at risk at a time when they are still growing and therefore vulnerable.”

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