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Pupils St Mary’s Bryanston Square take to the streets for play day

Play streets event part of Marylebone Low Emissions Neighbourhood clean air initiative

16 June, 2017 — By Elmira Tanatarova

Kids, parents and teachers joined in the event in Marylebone which promoted cleaner air 

CHILDREN hopscotched, blew bubbles, made smoothies and planted seeds in the street outside their school.

More than 200 pupils from St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School, in Marylebone, played in the normally busy road that was closed for the event on May 23.

Headteacher Emily Norman said: “It was brilliant to have so many families stay after school and feel they can play and enjoy themselves without having to rush away.

“We are really concerned about air pollution in this area. The fact that crossing the road is such a health risk for children and no one wants to bring children up in an unhealthy environment. Anything we can do to improve air quality has got to be a good thing.”

Headteacher Emily Norman 

Leanne Wright, mother of 10-year-old pupil Ananda Walters, said: “I think the event was wonderful. Obviously the more that can be done the better. We have to change our way of thinking and living, and that’s the hard part.

“Some of the most serious offenders are parents sitting outside schools. Changes need to be made for sure. We can’t keep going like this.”

The Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood Forum, funded by the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund, includes a whole range of innovations designed to help deliver cleaner air and a greener environment.

Pupils take to the streets 

They include increased on-street electric vehicle charging points, “smarter management” of taxi ranks by using optical sensors and Air Quality Champions on the streets tackling engine idling.

The council’s environment chief Councillor David Harvey said: “Air quality is the number one concern for our residents and the council is committed to making Westminster a lead in tackling air pollution.”

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