The Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) was established in July 2016, in partnership with Westminster City Council and local stakeholders with a central focus on improving air quality throughout the Marylebone area.
St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School is within the Low Emission Neighbourhood and Westminster City Council are encouraging more activities to raise awareness of air quality in the area. Our Green Team has been involved in a number of interesting activities.
Public Realm Proposals-Paddington Street, Marylebone High Street and Surrounds
Westminster City Council is planning to introduce a public realm scheme affecting Paddington Street, Ashland Place, Devonshire Street, Beaumont Mews, St. Vincent Street and New Cavendish Street. The proposals have been developed to facilitate improvements in air quality- an issue that we are very passionate about at St. Vincent’s.
It is proposed to introduce a number of measures as part of the Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN), a partnership project funded by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund. More information about the proposals is available online at www.marylebonelen.org We are particularly excited about the proposal to install a zebra crossing from the end of St. Vincent Street across Marylebone High Street to New Cavendish Street as this will make crossing the road much safer for our pupils.
More detail can be found on this news post: https://www.stvincentsprimary.org.uk/news/public-realm-proposals/
Marylebone High Street (St. Vincent Street/ New Cavendish Street)
Please see the attached letter which details preparatory works to fit a zebra crossing from the end of St. Vincent Street across Marylebone High Street. Although he works will be disruptive, this will greatly improve the safety of our pupils when crossing the busy road.
From Monday 14th January works will start to the pre-existing crossing outside 16 Marylebone High Street:
- Reconstruction of the buildout and crossing outside 16 Marylebone High Street
- Repaving the area around the crossing in high quality Yorkstone paving
- Resurfacing the crossing
- Installation of sustainable drainage systems either side of the crossing. These systems include rain gardens that are designed to drain off the surface water that would usually be wasted in the event of rainfall.
The civil works are planned to take place from 14th January 2019 to 25th January 2019 under normal working hours: Monday to Friday 07.30 – 13.00.
To undertake these works the crossing will be closed in this period, in order to cross, please use the crossing to the south at the junction with Moxon Street and New Cavendish Street. Please note that whilst steps will be taken to minimise the impact on residents, some of the works will be noisy and access to sections of footway may be restricted at times.
Air Pollution Project Summer 2017
Since the Summer Term, Green Team and the School Travel Ambassadors have been working on an air pollution project. They investigated the causes of air pollution and worked with the Marylebone Clean Air Alliance (with the help of a parent) and with the charity Sustrans to carry out some investigations into the air quality in and around our school. These experiments included putting up test tubes inside, outside and near to St Vincent’s to measure levels of the toxic gas, nitrogen dioxide. Green Team were relieved to find out that the amount of pollution inside our school and in our playground is quite low and within safe limits. However, they were shocked to discover that the amount of harmful nitrogen dioxide in the air in the streets very close to us, especially on Marylebone High Street is well above the safe limit set by the EU of 40 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre. The results are shown below:
mg/m3 µg NO2 (EU safe limit: 40 mg/m3 µg )
- 129 Waitrose exit (Marylebone High Street) 61.73
- 128 New Cavendish Street/ Marylebone Street 44.96
- 127 Main entrance to St. Vincent School 36.75
- 126 Office St. Vincent’s front 24.75
- 125 Lunch Room next to Kitchen door 24.45
- 124 Roof Playground 36.66
- 123 Foundation Stage Playground 33.51
- 122 Thames St/ George St 55.79
- 121 George St/ Manetreston St 55.19
Green Team then worked with Sustrans to make a video about their air pollution project, which has already been shown to the school in an assembly and to parents and carers during a coffee morning and presentation. The film will now will be shown to Transport for London and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Green Team will continue to raise awareness of air pollution amongst the local community and campaign to reduce levels in the area.
St. Vincent’s LEN Play Street July 2017
Play streets temporarily close off the street to through traffic, allowing children to get out and play safely while local residents/businesses get to know each other better. They are also are a wonderful way to get children active and making friends with their neighbours; and to make streets friendlier and safer for residents of all ages. The LEN Play Street event was launched with a beautiful rendition of ‘We are Marching…’ by our singing Year 6 and a selection of fun, informative activities could then be enjoyed. As well as the LEN Information stand where we all planted seeds to take home, and the Bike Doctor, we enjoyed a craft table, pledges table, fruit kebab stand, football, hula hoops, cycling, face painting- and regular keep fit sessions.
We are most grateful to the parents, staff, community members (including Waitrose who donated the fruit), local Councillors and visitors who supported the event. We hope you will think carefully about how you can help to reduce pollution and make Marylebone a healthier place to live.
The next Play Street event was on Friday 22nd September when Luxborough Street was turned into a ‘green’ street with lots of activities for everyone to enjoy.
GLA Air Quality Alerts and Advice
Our school receives air quality alerts from the Mayor of London whenever the air pollution in London is forecast to go above “Low” on the Defra Daily Air Quality Index.
For a Moderate air pollution alert, based on Defra’s national Daily Air Quality Index, the advice for the general population is to enjoy your usual outdoor activities. The advice for at risk individuals
(adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems) who experience symptoms, is to consider reducing strenuous physical activity, particularly outdoors.
In addition to Defra’s advice above, the following are some practical ideas for schools to consider in partnership with parents and guardians:
- Advise parents not to drive their children to and from school, as this exacerbates pollution in the school vicinity. Note that pollution levels are often higher inside cars even when the windows are shut.
- For those who continue to drive, ask parents/guardians/students not to idle their engines in the school vicinity.
- For those walking and cycling, try to plan a route to and from school that sticks to side roads or goes through parks or other green areas.
If you have questions concerning this pollution alert please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We continue to be concerned about the air pollution in central London. Please see links to the government’s public consultation on a new Clean Air Strategy, which is open until 14 August 2018.
St Vincent’s should benefit from the Mayor’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone which comes into effect in April 2019 as the vehicle emission standards are much tighter than for the existing T-charge.
There is also currently a consultation underway about the diesel parking surcharge: www.westminster.gov.uk/diesel
Green Team will provide further updates in the new academic year.