Ten vehicles per person

Last week @CleanAirLondon released the latest information in the ongoing campaign to improve London by improving its air quality. The campaign has two aims: firstly to reduce pollution by getting the government to control it more safely; and secondly to raise awareness of the growing evidence on the dangers of traffic pollution. Currently the main focus of the campaign is on diesel pollution, which is less harmful to the Ozone layer than petrol pollution, but more harmful to humans.

So now to the current report, which looks at the relationship between schools and roads. Presumably for reasons of accessibility, schools are often situated close to civic centres, public transport routes, and roads; often very busy ones. As well as revealing that local schools (Christchurch and Willow Tree) lie within 150 metres of roads carrying more than 10,000 vehicles per day, the investigation gives detailed information about the sheer amount of vehicles in the area: Shooters Hill Road carries 19,120 vehicles daily, John Wilson Street is on 21,625 a day, and Rochester Way takes 91,200. Considering that Shooters Hill has population of 12,854, this effectively means that for every person on the hill, there are 10 vehicles! Add this to the evidence that Rochester Way was the worst affected road during London’s April smog (along with the Old Kent Road), and it does look like the area could do with a bit of help in the fresh air department.

According to the campaigners, one way of improving the air in London wold be to introduce further low emission zones, which could remove the worst vehicles from London’s most polluted roads.