I may get arrested on Thursday morning but it’s time to make a stand (in the middle of the A3).
Every morning as children arrive at our local nursery on West Hill (A3 in Wandsworth), air pollution reaches levels that is slowly stunting children’s lung & brain growth, increasing their risk of asthma and cancer, and shortening their lives.
The nursery is outside the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) 2021 expansion area and you can’t close the A3 for ‘school street’ or ‘low traffic neighbourhood’ schemes. Our children cannot wait 20 years for petrol and diesel to be banned or for the EV revolution.
The number and type of vehicles on the A3 is difficult to reduce but the way vehicles are driven is within TfL’s control.
An idling vehicle produces almost twice the emissions of a moving vehicle and when it then accelerates it can produce ten times the emissions. Every time vehicles brake, particulate matter is created from brake, tyre and road surface wear.
The two minute journey from Tibbet’s Corner to the South Circular road can take 16 minutes during rush hour with vehicles accelerating and braking 30-40 times and idling for 10-12 minutes. Air pollution exposure for the children who live, travel and attend schools on busy roads can be reduced through driver behavior change and effective traffic management.
A simple way to reduce start-stop-idling is to hold traffic for a few minutes, switch off engines and wait for the road ahead to clear. We’ve campaigned unsuccessfully for over a year for TfL to trial this approach on West Hill. Our children are running out of time.
Research shows that by 8-9 years old they will have 5-10% reduced lung volume unless we reduce their air pollution exposure. We as loving parents can no longer stand by and wait for TfL to act and will join Extinction Rebellion on Clean Air Day 7.30am to 10am and do what TfL should have done a long time ago – protect our children’s health.
If you have time to join us please come along. You don’t have to stand in the road to stand with us, you can help by handing out leaflets and cake.