We are calling for an action plan for reducing pollution for Hackney’s children.
Children’s lungs are especially vulnerable to the effects of poor air quality. Exposure to high levels of air pollution can bring about asthma and seriously stunt lung growth. And yet we ask them to run around, breathing deeply, in playgrounds that are illegally-polluted. Collectively we owe them a better legacy of their schooldays.
Campaigns wins so far
Representing Hackney Parents at the House of Commons. Members of the group represented Hackney parents at a Clean Air Parents Network event with MPs, arranged by Client Earth, and attended by many MPs including Ed Milliband. Although invited, unfortunately Diane Abbot was unable to attend.
Speaking to Sadiq Kahn on BBC London radio and subsequently at clean air events at City Hall, to express concerns about bus stops outside school playgrounds. This resulted in discussions with our group, the GLA Head of Air Quality and TfL about possibilities for removing stops, which are still ongoing.
Petition for no more pollution at schools – we drummed up support from over 800 signatories from whole community in just four days – church, mosque, residents, schools – and presented our petition at the full council meeting in Feb 2018. As a result of our petition, Mayor Glanville pledged there would be: “no increases in pollution at schools in Hackney”.
Identifying that Hackney had put the wrong figure for the estimated traffic increase past schools in their Walford Road consultation. Their own data spreadsheets (which they sent to us on the final day of the consultation) estimated it at 30%, but in their consultation document, they stated 5-7% increase. Six months after first emailing Hackney about it, they finally conceded they’d got it wrong and started new traffic modelling in July. This got us in the news.
Parents and children from the group attended the UNICEF Clean Air rally at Marble Arch in 2019.
Our Future Plans
Some of the things that we will be doing over the coming year include:
Talking to Cllr Burke and Mayor Philip Glanville about pressing pause on the road closures.
Campaigning for the ULEZ together with the Clean Air Parents Network, and pressing for further measures that would benefit the borough, e.g. road user pricing, expansion of EV parking points, school streets for schools in the area.
Working with children to produce no idling signage for parking areas outside schools / traffic queueing at junctions next to schools.
Continuing discussions with the GLA air quality team and TfL to look at options for moving bus stops outside schools. We are currently discussing with them how the needs of commuters in London should be weighed up against the needs of pupils at polluted schools (March 2019).