Protecting local pupils from deadly air pollution

Hammersmith & Fulham Council is set to make local schools safer for pupils, parents and teachers – as well as help reduce exposure to air pollution – as part of its new Healthy School Streets programme.

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Image caption: Image 1: Artist's impression of the proposed Healthy School Streets trial scheme outside Jacques Prevert school

The new scheme will see six to eight schools benefit each year from the wide-ranging improvements, which include:

  • wider pavements outside the school – to create a greater distance between polluting vehicles and pedestrians and provide more space for parents and children to walk on
  • new ‘KEEP SCHOOL CLEAR’ markings on the road – to keep the streets outside the school free from parked vehicles during school drop-off and pick-up times
  • new ‘20 MPH’ markings on the road to remind drivers of the speed limit
  • air quality monitors to measure and track air pollution data
  • new benches and planters to help form a barrier between parents, children and vehicle emissions and create a more pleasant environment with seating
  • new cycle and e-scooter hire bays to help promote greener alternative forms of travel other than by car.

“Air pollution is a killer and we’re tackling it head-on,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment. “We’re hoping that these improvements to our local schools will make everyone safer and happier as we work towards becoming the greenest borough in Britain.”

The Healthy School Streets programme will be developed with each school individually and will first go to schools most affected by local air pollution levels.

Air pollution

We have studied the air quality across H&F and specifically outside all our primary schools. The data shows that 28 local schools are in areas of poor air quality as defined by our air quality monitoring network.

As a result, we will offer these 28 schools an air quality audit and discuss measures to take outside the school. In addition, each of the schools will work with H&F Council officers to develop an education programme about climate change.

The improvement scheme will be first trialled at Ecole Francaise Jacques Prevert in Aynhoe Road, West Kensington, with works set to begin in July.

After that, the programme will be rolled out to:

  • Brackenbury Primary School in Dalling Road, Hammersmith
  • Wendell Park Primary School, in Cobbold Road, Shepherds Bush
  • Fulham Cross Girls’ School, in Strode Road, Fulham.

Working with schools

Two years ago, Hammersmith & Fulham Council created a climate education group with primary schools to help support local ecological projects.

We developed a Climate Education Guide to help teachers raise awareness of the grave dangers of climate change, with input from our resident-led Climate and Ecological Emergency Commission. A climate education group for secondary schools will be created in September.

Recently, Hammersmith Academy was named ‘Sustainable School of the Year’ for its gardening programme that helps encourage biodiversity in the area, while actively teaching young people about global issues.

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