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Two Tower Hamlets primary schools to receive air quality audit

PUBLISHED: 12:58 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:58 13 September 2017

The air quality audit will look at the impact of pollution. Picture: Ken Mears.

The air quality audit will look at the impact of pollution. Picture: Ken Mears.

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Pupils at two Tower Hamlets primary schools could be better protected from toxic fumes after the mayor of London announced they would be subject to an air quality audit.

Woolmore Primary School in Woolmore Street, Poplar, and Bonner Primary School, which has sites in Stainsbury Street, Bethnal Green and Ropery Street, Mile End, are among 50 schools in the capital that will be audited by the end of this year.

Sadiq Khan announced the pilot scheme - to be carried out in some of the worst polluted areas of London - will look at ways pupils’ health could be protected and ways to reduce emissions and exposure to pollution in and around schools.

Reports will be ready by March, and potential recommendations could include moving school entrances, changing road layouts and introducing ‘barrier bushes’ and ‘no idling’ schemes.

Mr Khan said: “It is shameful that children across London are breathing in toxic air simply by going to and from school and I am determined to do everything in my power to safeguard their health.

“These air quality audits are a big step towards helping some of the most polluted schools in London identify effective solutions to protect pupils from toxic fumes but, of course, this is only part of the solution.”

The audit will see consultants WSP work with each of the polluted schools, with an emphasis on low cost interventions where possible.

They will also identify and recommend larger scale infrastructure improvements to be carried out in partnership with the council.

The announcement was welcomed by London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai, who said: “There is a lot of evidence showing that air quality can have a long-term detrimental impact on the health of our children.

“It’s great to see that the mayor is taking genuine steps to tackle the impact of toxic air on children in Tower Hamlets, and I hope this audit is just the start.”

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