NW3 Green School Runs: Campaigners have ‘Ikea’ plans to tackle Hampstead air pollution

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

A month after its launch, the ambitious NW3 Green School Runs (NW3GSR)community group is meeting with 11 local schools, Camden Council and stakeholders including Public Health England as it hopes to transform how children get to school in the area.

The meeting on Thursday will see the group lay down the gauntlet to stakeholders with a number of “asks” – from helping to set up a bus service to discussing the viability of walking buses – designed to improve air quality..

Valeria Pensabene, one of the driving forces behind the group, said she was delighted with the reception so far, but it was time for action.

She said: “It’s been fantastic. We’ll be presenting the schools and the council’s with very specific asks this week.

“We’ve done an awful lot of work. We’ve got proposals for the bus system ready and we’ve been talking to companies.

“We’ve got very viable business plans. It’s like Ikea flatpack furniture, we’ve done the work we just need the schools and the council to assemble them.”

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq helped to facilitate the meeting and will be attending. She told the Ham&High: “All those who have used local roads during the school run will understand the scale of the challenge.

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“We must ensure that the school run doesn’t compromise the health of local children, parents and teachers – and so I hope that the key stakeholders at the meeting can set about creating a plan that will improve our air quality for good.”

This comes as community campaigners call for broaded action to improve transport and air quality in NW3.

At the last Camden full council meeting in February, the town hall’s environment chief Cllr Adam Harrison singled out the NW3GSR for praise.

He said: “It’s been really welcome to see local parents setting up the Green School Run campaign and I am looking forward to working with them.”