Pollution: Closing school roads improves air quality levels

Last updated at 11:58
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Banning motor vehicles from roads near schools is proving beneficial for air pollution in London

Results of a new study show that closing roads near schools during pick-up and drop-off times can have a huge impact on reducing air pollution in the area.

The research, published by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, involved installing 30 sensors at 18 primary schools in Brent, Enfield and Lambeth to record levels of nitrogen dioxide.

The levels of nitrogen dioxide fell by 23 percent outside one school in Enfield in London, which also saw levels of nitric oxide fall by 34 percent.

Nitrogen dioxide is a harmful chemical released by vehicle exhausts.

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What's air pollution and why's it so important?

The schemes have also been very popular with parents, with up to 81 percent in favour of keeping roads closed during those times.

"It's great to see the huge reduction in nitrogen dioxide during pick-up and drop-off on schools streets - a time where countless children and adults would otherwise be exposed to dangerous emissions," said London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

"I am doing everything in my power to stop Londoners breathing air so filthy", he continued.

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Air pollution is a particular concern when it comes to those with conditions like asthma

Local councils in many UK major cities are making it a priority to tackle air pollution, in particular around schools.

But one recent report showed that more needs to be done in certain areas.

The report by the London Assembly and the Environmental Defence Fund found that 14 primary schools in London were in areas that matched or exceeded the legal limit of nitrogen dioxide pollution.

Another study from last year showed lower pollution levels could improve a child's learning.

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