St Anselm’s Primary School

Date petition submitted: 
07 February 2019
Petition presented by: 
Leonie Cooper AM,
Petition presented at: 
London Assembly Plenary

Summary of petition

“Dear Wandsworth Council, Mr Mayor and Transport for London Air pollution contributes to 9,500 early deaths every year and is stunting the lungs and cognitive development of children and reduces their life expectancy. St Anselm’s Primary School is located near the crossroads of Trinity Road/Tooting Bec Road/Balham High Road/Upper Tooting Road, and as a result, its pupils are exposed to illegal levels of nitrogen oxide. A 2013 study revealed that the nitrogen dioxide pollution level at St Anselm’s Primary School was 43.1 micrograms per cubic metre of air (40 micrograms per cubic metre of air being the EU legal limit). What is particularly concerning is that the outdoor play area and gardens for the Reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 classes are located directly outside a bus stop for the 249 and 319 buses. Not only do buses stop and idle next to our children’s play areas and classrooms, but traffic gathers and waits behind those buses. These gardens are used as a extension of the classroom and so our children are spending many hours each week breathing in these fumes. Children aged 4-8 are therefore being exposed on a daily basis to dangerous and illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide. These young children are particularly susceptible to the high levels of air pollution as their lungs are still developing. It is well documented that children living in areas with high levels of nitrogen dioxide have up to 10% less lung capacity than other children. We, the St Anselm’s Community in Tooting, call upon Wandsworth Council, the Mayor of London and Transport for London to take all steps to minimise the harm to our children. We have applied for grant funding from the Greener City Fund for the erection of a green screen to absorb some of the pollution, however we need your help. Specifically, we call upon you to move the offending bus stop on Tooting Bec Road further down the road, to minimise the unnecessary pollution directly outside the gardens where our children learn and play.”

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