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Car Free Day celebrated with street parties this week for schoolchildren

Play streets_1

Activities included smoothie bikes and toys from the V&A Museum of Childhood

Thousands of children at six schools across Tower Hamlets are enjoying car free streets this week as they take part in a series of special street parties. 

The street parties include a variety of activities, such as disco bikes, toys to play with from the Museum of Childhood, and a BMX show.  

These events coincide with International Car Free Day on September 22, a day dedicated to opening the streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and children to play safely without road traffic.  

Tower Hamlets has the most traffic in the country and transport is the main source of air pollution, responsible for nearly 40 per cent of carbon dioxide emitted.  

As a result, children in Tower Hamlets have up to 10 percent less lung function due to air pollution and poor air quality compared to the national average.  

This is why, to clean up our air quality and make our streets safer and greener, the Council is installing School Streets across the borough. School Streets aims to encourage activity, reduce pollution and help growth, learning, and development.  

In partnership with Sustrans, the school street party events are a celebration of the work being done with primary schools to encourage school pupils and their parents to walk, cycle, and scoot to school.  

Tower Hamlets Council is committed to delivering 50 School Streets across the borough, of which 21 have already been delivered and 16 are in progress, with others in early stages of consultation.    

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said: 

“The areas outside of primary schools should be safe for children to walk to and from school. As part of responding to the climate crisis and cleaning up our air, we are making the areas around schools safer and greener. Our School Streets programme can include everything from wider pavements and safer crossings to green walls and clean air gardens to filter air and improve the environment.” 

“It's wonderful to see so many children enjoying the space outside their schools this week. We continue to work to ensure all children in Tower Hamlets can enjoy their school streets safely all year round.” 

Cllr Kahar Chowdhury, Cabinet Member for Public Realm, said: 

“We are delighted to be participating in this week’s school events to mark Car Free Day with other London boroughs.” 

“Improving our public realm and our air quality is important to the Council, which is why we have been introducing a range of measures alongside School Streets, including planting over 740 trees in our streets, creating more cycle lanes, and installing electric vehicles chargers around the borough.” 

   

Posted on Friday 24th September 2021