Traffic and leaf blowers should be banned from parks

M Kingston (Traffic and leaf blowers are shattering our peaceful parks, letters August 20) is right to point out the safety risks to children from vehicles in Camden s parks, particularly the new children s adventure playground in Waterlow Park. Last mon

M Kingston (Traffic and leaf blowers are shattering our peaceful parks, letters August 20) is right to point out the safety risks to children from vehicles in Camden's parks, particularly the new children's adventure playground in Waterlow Park.

Last month, a friend and I saw a truck braking to an emergency stop there because a dog had run into its path.

I decided to return half an hour later to photograph the spot and send the image to the council, describing what had happened, and ask them to please build bollards to keep vehicles away. But when I returned, so did the truck.

It may not look like much, but it had nearly killed a dog in a place where children run around everywhere. Vehicles of all sizes regularly drive through that spot. (Is this the white van referred to in last week's letter?)

Please can the council recognise that this is a major safety risk, and build wooden bollards on the approach paths to this children's play area?

S MacReynoldson

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Hornsey Lane, N6

ANUMBER of your correspondents have recently raised concerns about the use of leaf blowers and other machinery in our parks. This is an issue that has been raised with me as a ward councillor with increasing frequency.

I share these concerns about this trend to rely on noisy machinery which destroys the tranquillity of our parks. These spaces must be maintained as an oasis of calm. The constant use of vehicles in parks are also a problem, adding add to our carbon emissions and where they burn fuel directly, they worsen our already poor air quality.

I am taking this up with Camden's executive members who have to date not shown any enthusiasm about tackling this problem. I will ask for a strategy for maintaining our parks and open spaces which is more in keeping with the tranquillity we look for as well as a more natural means of maintaining these spaces.

Cllr Maya de Souza

(Green Party) Highgate Ward

AS one who has hated leaf blowers for years and thinks they are unnecessary and unwelcome additions to our public (and private) spaces, I was very pleased to read the letters in recent weeks, raising the issue both leaf blowers and the presence of vehicles in local parks.

The damage done by the noise of leaf blowers is recognised, not least by operators, who wear ear-muffs. For that reason alone the use of these horrible machines in parks used by children should be banned immediately.

Anne Burley

Highgate Hill, N6

Leaf blowers and other petrol-driven garden tools are not merely a noise nuisance and sometimes a needless use of fue. Their rudimentary engines emit far more noxious pollutants, notably carcinogenic PAHs, than the equivalent engine power in cars.

Studies have variously found that an hour's use of a petrol lawnmower is as polluting as a car driven for 80-150 kilometres [50-95 miles]. This can cause significant local pollution, especially on weekends, in sheltered suburbs, and on less windy days. The pollution is also concentrated at ground level, so people in the immediate vicinity may inhale relatively large amounts of the pollutants.

Jim Roland

Golders Gardens, NW11