NW3 Green School Runs: Parents group to trial coaches for private schools in Hampstead

Children help the NW3 Green School Runs team hand out leafets in Hampstead. Picture: NW3GSR

Children help the NW3 Green School Runs team hand out leafets in Hampstead. Picture: NW3GSR - Credit: Archant

The NW3 Green School Runs (NW3GSR) campaign group have announced plans to run a coach service for children travelling to the NW3 area each morning.

At this stage the plans will see an app based system implemented which will allow parents to book tickets on coach for their children.

The routes being trialled are based on data collected from NW3 parents who have signed up to the trial previously.

From the week commencing May 21, a coach service will connect NW3 with Queens Park and West Hampstead, Highgate, and Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Valeria Pensabene from NW3GSR said: "It's not just about the council doing things. The schools have to step up, too.

"We've given them a number of 'asks' and we want to keep them accountable."

Representatives from 10 private schools in Hampstead met with NW3GSR, the council and local MP Tulip Siddiq in March, and a follow-up is planned today (Thu) to gauge progress.

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Valeria explained NW3GSR wanted to see the schools commit to a number of further ways of reducing the air quality impact of the morning and evening commute.

Among other targets, NW3GSR wants schools to collect and act on data about how children get to school, to promote car-sharing and support the multi-school bus service.

It also wants to see walking buses, no idling signage, and more promotion of walking to school.

Valeria added: "We need the schools to buy-in. We are asking them to pay for the chaperones on the coach services.

"It's going to be much more convenient - if you say have three children at different schools - to put them on a bus!"

Last week Camden Council launched their latest Clean Air Action plan and the town hall's environment chief Cllr Adam Harrison has previously backed the NW3GSR group's efforts to tackle the issue in Hampstead.

He said: "Clean air is one of our residents' top priorities.

"In Camden, we want to make sure that no one should experience poor health as a result of the air they breathe - that's why we were the first London borough to commit to World Health Organisation guidelines for air quality."

For more information see the group's Facebook page.