Council motion: Improving air quality around schools

Our colleagues in Haringey put forward the following motion which highlights the specific issue and impact of poor air quality on school children. This is an issue that is raised across the country and the below motion shows how we can raise the issue and potential steps to be taken.

Council notes:

  1. That according to Haringey’s Air Quality Annual Report for 2017 that local residents are exposed to unsafe levels of pollutants (especially nitrogen dioxide).
  2. That road transport is the principal source of both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide pollution in London.
  3. That a 2018 report from London Councils states that nitrogen dioxide’s “impact on children is especially bad, with epidemiological studies showing that symptoms of bronchitis in asthmatic children increase in association with long-term exposure to NO2, as well as stunting lung growth”.
  4. That in February 2019, Lordship School became the first school in Haringey to operate ‘No-Idling Zones’ during drop-off and collection times.
  5. That a number of other London boroughs including Hackney, Camden and Greenwich operate a number of ‘School Streets’ whereby only pedestrians and cyclists can use roads close to a school’s entrance at start and finish times.

Council believes:

  1. That air pollution poses a serious threat to the health of young people.
  2. That whilst many of the policy interventions to rectify this problem would have to come from a national government or the Mayor of London, Haringey Council needs to do more.
  3. That there should be more School Streets and No-Idling Zones around Haringey Schools.
  4. That in the long term, Haringey should move towards them becoming universal at every school in the borough.
  5. That it is important to provide parents with healthier and less polluting alternatives to driving their children to school. Therefore, the Council should invest more in walking and cycling.

Council resolves:

  1. To implement School Streets or No-Idling Zones around every primary school in the borough by 2022.
  2. To increase spending on active travel in future budgets.
  3. To conduct a feasibility study of using a Workplace Parking Levy as a way to fund this.
  4. To encourage local businesses to sponsor green walls on school buildings and tree planting near schools.

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