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imageA message from the campaigning group Mums for Lungs

Dear friend,

It feels like the world has changed in a very short time. 

Things we took for granted have either disappeared (school) or changed beyond recognition (Zooming friends that haven’t been seen in months). But, as we take stock of this new situation and try to figure out what the future holds, it’s also a chance to think about the world we want to re-build. Many of us now want to play our own part in that, particularly when it comes to air pollution and rethinking transport.

202005 emergency school streets

Mums for Lungs are running a short and sharp webinar on: HOW and WHY to campaign for Emergency School Streets. Thursday, 28 May – 8pm (30 minutes only).

Everything (hopefully) you need to know on how to ask your council for a School Street to a) reduce air pollution exposure and b) overcrowding at the school gate.

Email for Zoom-details. Send in your questions beforehand, if you like, even if you can’t join, of course!

Mums For Lungs wants to help make it as easy as possible for you to make a difference. Accordingly, we have drafted templates to download, adapt, and send to your council to request a filtered street (i.e. one shut to through-traffic, but accessible for residents, pedestrians, and cyclists) or an emergency School Street (i.e. the closing of the street outside the school gates to motor vehicles at pick-up and drop-off times).

imageClick on image to download the template

imageClick on image to download the template

There is change in the air. The national Government and TFL are both strongly behind radical changes to roads to make them safer and healthier for pedestrians and cycling, including School Streets. For possibly the first time, clean air campaigners can say to Councils and others: the Government wants you to do this! The reasons are obvious – high Covid-19 mortality rates are linked to air pollution levels and public transport is in crisis because of difficulties with two-metre social distancing. We have a choice: more cars, congestion, and air pollution, or healthy, active travel.

Councils have already begun to implement urgent temporary measures, especially to enable social distancing. In Herne Hill (SE24), pavements have been widened and roads narrowed. More details of what Lambeth council is doing are here. Streets are being filtered in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Croydon and elsewhere.

Our templates will help you get the same for your street and your child’s school! 

Now is the time to ask for change and create the future we want to live in. Councils across London are using their powers to make 18-month changes to roads, which emergency Health and Safety regulations permit. TfL is funding them to do this emergency work and funds for changes under non-emergency regulations are frozen for now.  But successful changes could become permanent. In short, success now could turn into a long-term revolution.

Let’s build a future that makes London a better place for everyone to live and breathe. 

What to do now: download one of our template letters and add the designated local information to it. The templates tell you whom to send it to! (we have also attached them). Please share them widely – all the info is also on Twitter here.  

We’d love to know how you get on, and we are always free for a chat if you want more advice or have any questions

Breathe easy,

Mums for Lungs

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