Archived on 6/5/2022

Mayor unveils plans for further reduction in pollution at schools

13 Nov '20

Continuing the discussion from Thorpewood Avenue Half One Way and School Street Poll:

On November 10th, the Mayor of London announced plans for further air quality audits for London schools.

While identifying problem areas and making plans to tackle the issue of air pollution can only be a good thing, I personally note that many of the Key Recommendations from the Mayor of London’s 2018 air quality audit program for Haseltine Primary school were not implemented, and the green wall installation may not have been good value for money:

13 Nov '20

Looks to me like someone went to take a picture of a random wall at the school. Do we know if that’s actually the ‘green barrier’?

Since we’re talking about TfL and green initiatives, this seems like a significantly smaller failure than the infamous garden bridge. - that’s 3 orders of magnitude more money wasted.

Anyway if people don’t want to give up driving then we should be encouraging switching to electric propulsion whether it’s cars, scooters or whatever.

13 Nov '20

I think that sadly about sums up the success of that green wall to date. I’m sure it will grow in time (it already looks a little bit better than before), but you could probably have bought B&Q’s entire bedding section for £30k.

It would be funny, except for the impact on children’s health of this failing.

13 Nov '20

It is great news and I think it would make sense to target it at schools with the most pollution in a meaningful way. I think most of us believe the best way to get clean air is to reduce car pollution. Green walls and other vegitation will have a marginal effect at best.

I think there will be a call for a more transparent and objective selection scheme for school streets as I am sure many schools will say how come that school is getting money and we are not. Who is making that decision and is it proof or opinion based? It is important than any scheme is seen as fair.

The next thing we need is funding for a scrappage scheme for diesel cars which are the biggest single contributor to local pollution. I don’t think it needs to be just hard cash that would be used to buy a new car but perhaps a choice between credit for public transport, taxis or car hire schemes and cash for those who need a car with the credit being higher. I think the main aim should be to encourage people to get rid of these cars.

13 Nov '20

Hopefully the ivy needs time to mature…?
Were none of the other measures implemented at all?

13 Nov '20

As I said, I’m sure it will grow in time, but for £30k you might expect something a bit more ‘ready to go’?

Bit of a strawman there, but page 45 of the report summarises the key recommendations (note the nice bushy ‘green infrastructure’ where the photos in the above Tweet were taken):

To be clear, I think it’s great that the Mayor continues to tackle air pollution - especially around schools. The more we know about and think about the problems, the more can be done to tackle them. I’m just disappointed with some of the costs and results of the previous air quality audit. Let’s hope this time is better.