Pupils at Camden Town schools have been learning more about the impacts of air pollution through a series of workshops.
As part of the Camden Town Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) programme, funded through the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund, pupils at Hawley Primary School, Holy Trinity & St Silas Primary School, and Cavendish School recently took part in a series of assemblies and workshops to learn about air pollution, how it can impact everyone’s health, and explored ways to protect themselves from these effects.
The pupils monitored pollution levels on the streets near their schools, and their air quality data was used to create a map, complete with the pupils’ drawings of the area. The map highlights cleaner walking routes that have lower pollution levels.
A series of measures to make the streets in the Camden Town Low Emission Neighbourhood safer for walking and cycling were delivered alongside the work with local pupils. Segregated cycle lanes were introduced on Chalk Farm Road and Prince of Wales Road making our streets safer for those who cycle to school. A series of low-traffic street improvements were implemented in the area which reduced traffic volumes and decreased emissions on local roads, enabling pupils to plan cleaner air routes to school.
Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden said: “I would like to congratulate all the students involved in this valuable local research.
“In Camden we have radically raised the level of our ambition on cleaning up our air by adopting World Health Organization guidelines for air quality in Camden by 2034. Research has shown that long-term exposure to elevated concentrations of air pollution can cause health issues, including increased risk of asthma, cardiovascular disease and respiratory illnesses.
“Walking the lower pollution routes, devised by the students is a really simple way for everyone to breathe cleaner air and have healthier lungs.”
Pupils from Cavendish School’s Eco-Team commented that: “The map is going to help me take a cleaner way to school” and “the map will make it easier for me to walk or cycle to school. I know which roads are better to take now”.
The Camden Town LEN aims to address high air pollution in a busy area of the borough through a comprehensive package of measures, including physical changes to the streets to support walking and cycling with the installation of 13 Dockless Bike Hire bays, improved provision for electric vehicles with two fast charging points and 19 lamp column charging points, awareness-raising projects with schools and businesses, and the installation of five on-street secure cycle storage hangars.
Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment, said: “The Camden Town Low Emission Neighbourhood is a brilliant example of what the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund can do. I’m delighted that students are learning about air pollution in their local area and discovering cleaner routes to school, and I applaud the great work Camden have done to support walking, cycling, and cleaner vehicles through the project.
“The Mayor is doing everything in his power to protect children and all Londoners from toxic air which includes delivering and expanding the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, as he works to build a cleaner and greener London for everyone.”