Improving air quality to protect the health of children is one of my biggest priorities. I welcomed the Health and Environment Alliance’s ‘Healthy air, healthier children’ report on the air quality around primary schools across six European capital cities. Progress is already being made against all three of its recommendations for London.
Firstly, School Streets have been introduced at schools across London including in Greenwich, Westminster and Hackney. The report highlights London’s leadership in this area, calling for government to give all councils the same powers as London boroughs to enforce School Streets.
Secondly, to promote active transport London is expanding its cycling network and adopting the Healthy Streets approach to ensure the city is walking and cycling friendly. 1,500 schools, nurseries and colleges are already signed up to TfL’s STARS programme that replace 13 million miles' worth of car journeys with walking, cycling and scooting every year.
Finally, the Mayor’s air quality school and nursery programmes undertook audits at 50 primary schools and 20 nurseries and have provided boroughs with a toolkit and access to funding to carry out audits at other schools. The Breathe London network has installed real time monitoring at 35 primary schools and over 250 pupils from across London have taken part in a wearable sensor study.