Sustrans response to Lancet's findings on London's low emission zone air quality impact

arial photo of pupils forming the words we love clean air outside school

Leicester school celebrating Clean Air Day

15 November 2018

Reacting to the Lancet Public Health report on London’s Low Emission Zone, Andy Cope, Director of Insight at Sustrans, said:

“Low Emission Zones are an important tool to protect people from air pollution caused by vehicles. However, this new research shows that they are not the only solution to protecting children from poor air quality.

“On a day when Public Health England has also released a report highlighting the detrimental impact of air pollution on health, we need to do more to enable a greater number of people to walk and cycle for everyday journeys. The report reveals a staggering 41% of trips to school for children aged five to ten are by car.

"Therefore, even if we can reduce exhaust emissions, this does nothing to diminish the estimated 45% of particulate matter (PM10) in London that comes from brake and tyre wear, of which the World Health Organisation says there is no safe level of exposure.

“Walking or cycling to school is something everyone should have the choice to do, but too many children are stuck in the back seats of cars.

"We advocate road closures around schools at drop-off and pick-up times to avoid the chaotic road safety problems of vehicles jostling for space. This, combined with dedicated cycling infrastructure has been proven to reduce air pollution in proximity to schools and increase active travel.”

For more information and interviews contact:

Anna Galandzij, Senior Press Officer at Sustrans, 07557 915 648, [email protected]
Liv Denne, Press and Media Officer at Sustrans, 07768 035318, [email protected]