Air Quality Monitoring Devices To Be Installed Near Local Schools

Ealing Council spending over £200,000 to collect data on pollution

Ealing Council is also expanding its School Street programme

Air quality monitors are to be installed near schools across the borough of Ealing to provide live data on harmful pollution.

Almost £240,000 is being invested in the equipment with grant funding from the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The council says the devices will help strengthen the council’s Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP), which is currently being developed in partnership with residents to reduce air pollution and improve health.

The investment will also support educational programmes for pupils, teachers and parents, which will focus on the impact of air pollution and traffic congestion on health.

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, cabinet member for climate action said, “London’s air pollution can be fatal and tragically, it contributed to up to more than 4,000 deaths across the capital in 2019 alone. Dirty air around our schools is rightly a serious concern for every family.

“That is why tackling air pollution is one of the council’s top priorities and I am delighted that we have secured this investment, which will go straight into educational and monitoring equipment in our schools and education on how to reduce pollution on the school run.

“Added to this we will shortly be consulting with residents on our new Air Quality Strategy and action plan so they can have their say and help us make it successful. “

The emphasis of council policy will be on reducing ‘unnecessary’ car journeys. Cllr Costigan added, “Even a small vehicle running on petrol, can emit an average of more than 19 grams of CO2 a minute when its engine is on. It all adds up to a polluting cocktail filling the air we breathe”.

“Tackling the climate crisis is a huge challenge and to be successful, we need to drastically cut the polluting gasses released from shorter car journeys – it’s vital for our key aim of achieving net zero for carbon emissions by 2030.

“This is why the council is doing everything possible to support residents to walk, cycle and scoot wherever possible, as an alternative to car travel.

“We are investing £10m into active travel initiatives as well as introducing more bike hangars and electric vehicle charge points and slashing the cost of bike hangar permits to the lowest in London. And of course our pledge to plant 50,000 more trees will also help to improve the air we breathe.”

A total of 17 School Streets are now in place across the borough with more on their way. School Streets work by temporary closing roads to traffic around a school at its opening and closing times. They aim to create a safer and more pleasant place for children to walk, cycle and scoot, and encourage parents to ditch the car on the school run.

Councillor Costigan continued, “We are investing £500,000 in the programme and our 17 current School Streets already benefit more than 8,000 pupils across the borough. But we want to do much more – so our target is 50 School Streets by 2026, which means we hope to deliver at least four new School Streets every six months.

“As well as cleaner air at the school gates, there is overwhelming evidence that active forms of travel have a hugely positive effect on pupils, both for physical and mental wellbeing, as well as on learning in the classroom.”


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July 11, 2022