Education · Health · Transport

Healthy air for children to breathe

I raised 5 children and have more grandchildren. Health for children is very important to me. Of course parents are now more aware about the dangers of exhaust fumes from cars and want healthy air for the kids to breathe.

It is probably not feasible to close roads. We have got roads for a purpose, that is mainly transport for goods, people, services.

We need pin-pointed solutions.

The best solution to start with would be to move all schools away from busy roads. Kids spend at least 8 hours in a school and if its near a busy road, that exposes the children to bad air for most of the day. Additionally there is the way to and home from school. Depending on where the journey goes, this can also involve breathing in unhealthy air.

Parents need to avoid busy roads for the school journey and parents need to demand that the law-makers make it illegal to run a school within a certain distance from a busy road. When my daughter went to Bishop Challoner school near Commercial Road her breathing, coughing became significantly worst and when she had left there and changed to Raine’s Foundation, now closed, her breathing normalised again.

Some of our schools are near very busy roads. This is the best start to improve air quality for children, if we demand that school buildings are a certain distance from busy roads. If I had any decision making powers, that is what I would put my energy in.

When my kids were little, I took them to Epping Forest on long walks through the forest. Not a lot of parents would do this.

Our cities were built with transport in mind, disturbing this will destroy all logistics. We can’t ask anybody to use cycles, this again would create a pressure, which removes choice and ability.