No London school to be exposed to pollution by 2025

A new report commissioned by City Hall predicts that, as a result of the Mayor of London’s action to improve air quality, no schools in the capital will be exposed to illegally high levels of air pollution by 2025.

The report, which was carried out by air quality and climate change emissions consultants Aether, found that the number of primary schools in areas exceeding legal limits for harmful NO2 is projected to drop dramatically from 371 in 2013 to just four in 2020.

The number of secondary schools is expected to fall from 82 in 2013 to only one in 2020, with no schools at all in high polluting NO2 areas by 2025.  

A previous Aether study found of the schools in the highest polluting areas of London around 80 per cent were defined as being ‘deprived’.  

The research reveals children from some of the poorest backgrounds will benefit the most from the Mayor’s bold measures to tackle air quality.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Improving London’s air quality is a social justice issue as well as a public health matter, given it is certain communities which are affected by filthy air the most. Today’s report shows that some of the poorest Londoners will benefit the most from the bold measures we are taking to tackle London’s filthy air. By taking tough action, we can ensure that within six years the most deprived schools will be no more likely to have higher exposure to NO2 pollution than the least deprived schools. It cannot be right that your background and where you live determines the quality of the air you breathe and that is exactly why measures like the Ultra Low Emission Zone are so vital.”

Measures to improve air quality in London include the Ultra Low Emission Zone, launching in the central London congestion zone on 8 April and expanding to the North and South circular in October 2021. It will play a significant part in achieving these improvements by removing the most polluting vehicles from the areas of poorest air quality.

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