22 March 2019
Green Councillors have welcomed the introduction of the School Streets scheme in Lambeth which will make it “safer for children to walk, scoot and cycle” to school. Lambeth follows in the footsteps of several other councils across London, including Hackney, Southwark and Croydon, who have implemented the scheme which will see the temporary closure of roads around schools at drop off and pick up times.
The Council will be launching a pilot of the scheme on 25 March at Immanuel and St Andrew's Primary School, Northanger Road followed by a 12 week trial at Jessop Primary School, Lowden Road from 22 April. Emergency services, disabled badge holders and residents of Lowden Road and Northanger Road will still have access during the closures.
The School Streets scheme has been championed by the London based campaign group Mums for Lungs and the Green Party in an attempt to make streets safer and less polluted. Public Health England have also called for a ban on engine-idling outside schools as an urgent measure to tackle air pollution.
A recent study found that around 9,400 a year die prematurely each year in London as a result of exposure to unsafe levels of pollution. Children are most affected by dangerous pollution levels as they breathe more air each minute than an adult, spend more time outside and are closer to car exhausts.
Councillor Nicole Griffiths (St Leonard’s) said:
“I’m delighted that Lambeth is finally introducing School Streets as this is something the Greens have been campaigning on for a long time. I would however like to see an immediate roll-out of no car drop-off and pick up zones around all schools in Lambeth. Earlier this year we got Lambeth to declare a climate emergency and this commitment must now be followed by urgent, borough-wide action- small scale pilots are simply not rapid enough when we have just 12 years to limit climate catastrophe. Our children are breathing in toxic fumes every day and it is vital that all local authorities act immediately to tackle this.”