Southwark rolls out schools air quality initiative

South London council launches campaign to promote air quality awareness at six primary schools

Southwark council in South London has launched a project working with six primary schools to raise awareness of air quality among schoolchildren, teachers and parents.

The programme is part of the Cleaner Air for Schools initiative and involves training, events and campaigns to promote both public and active transport and encourage car drivers to use less polluting types of transport for journeys to and from school.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the health effects of air pollution among schoolchildren, teachers and parents in Southwark

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the health effects of air pollution among schoolchildren, teachers and parents in Southwark

Parents and carers are encouraged to turn off engines when the car is not moving (no idling), to park away from the school and walk the last leg (park and stride) and to respect the yellow zig-zags and parking controls in the immediate vicinity of the school gates, all of which reduce congestion near the school gates and reduce the exposure of children to the fumes.

The scheme has been initially introduced to: Bessemer George Primary School; Charles Dickens Primary School; Grange Primary School, Peter Hills with St Mary’s and St Paul’s Church of England Primary School, Rotherhithe Primary School and St Francesca Cabrini Roman Catholic Primary School.


The work is being funded by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Air Quality Fund and the Southwark travel plan budget for 2012-13.

Councillor Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for transport, environment and recycling, said: “The Clean Air for Schools programme supports our cleaner, greener promises and it’s great that we can now progress with things. By taking this grassroots approach we hope that young people realise the importance of reducing air pollution and go on to make informed travel choices.

“We also hope the initiative will enthuse young people to take these positive messages home to their families, as we have seen with our healthy eating messages. My thanks to the six schools who came on board with this. We hope to see more and more schools involved in the coming years to help make Southwark a cleaner place to live and study.”

Cleaner Air for Schools is running concurrently across eight London Boroughs in conjunction with the Greater London Authority (GLA).


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10 years ago

Yes, of course, it should be across all of London – and other cities, towns and villages. Let’s hope this beginning gets lots of publicity and the word spreads! Efforts like this all count.
About Paris, well electric (non-poluting?) taxis sound great – but are they battery run or plugged in for a top-up somewhere? Does this system also require energy (that involves pollution being produced but just somewhere else?). Park-and-stride is a great idea – but only if OTHER vehicles in the vicinity also cut their emissions as much as possible – as a severe-asthma sufferer (environmental not biological) I wouldn’t want to walk beside the traffic at all – and not take kiddies through it either …. I think we need many more traffic-free zones across the whole country. Just going shopping in the very small town near where we live is really hard for me because of all the exhaust fumes from slow moving delivery trucks, buses stopping & starting, people waiting with engines running (there should be a serious ban against that!) – another real nasty is all the perfumed “poison” coming out of so many shops today – why on earth they think it is necessary to fill the air with so many scented products beats me – and I wouldn’t facny working in that! If we all started wearing face-maks when out and about in the street, perhaps someone would notice …. p.s. if you look at the international air pollution maps, I think you will find that Paris is nearly always far worse than London – and I believe that many parts of London are now much better than before – esp. back in the smog of the 1950s when I was a kiddie – so progress has been made – it’s just that we must fight to do even better – because everywhere is so crowded and busy now and far too much is being pumped into the air we breathe. I suppose human lungs might “adapt” to air pollution in the future (survial of the fittest … those of us with “weak” lungs will die out …) but most of us won’t be around then and it would be so sad to spoil what we have for future generations – and to make kiddies and others suffer with lung diseases because of our “need” for diesel vehicles and the like …. but, hey, I’m preaching to the converted – we need to air our voices to those who don’t know …. or don’t evedn think about the air we breathe.

Jo Barker
Jo Barker
10 years ago

Very Good news But it should be across All London.
I have just been in Paris and they have electric Hybrid taxis with engines that switch when idling at lights etc….
Electric Should much more encrourgaed or other forms of Non polutioned transport…

Best Jo Barker

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