Almost two-thirds of London schoolchildren are worried about air pollution near their school – an increase of 11 per cent since a similar survey was conducted in 2018.
A YouGov poll, commissioned by the walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, surveyed 1,305 pupils aged from 6 to 15 years old across the UK, of which 180 were in London. They were asked about their attitudes towards air pollution and the climate crisis. They were also asked about and the actions they think should be taken to help reduce the impact of poor air quality and climate change.
Of those surveyed in London, 63 per cent said adults are not doing enough to tackle climate change. This is in line with the national findings.
More than three-quarters – 76 per cent – of the children admitted to feeling worried about climate change, and 61 per cent thought that adults don’t listen to children’s concerns about the topic.
The survey also found:
- More than half (54 per cent) of pupils described the environment around their school as having too many cars
- 33 per cent of pupils are “worried” that transport makes more greenhouse gases in the UK than anything else, with private vehicle use, especially cars, making up the biggest part of this
- Just 3 per cent of the children surveyed currently cycle, while 9 per cent said that they wanted to
- Just 4 per cent currently scoot to school; 10 per cent would like to.
“The results of this survey highlight the responsibility we have to create a healthier, greener and fairer society for the generation coming after us,” said James Austin, Sustrans’ London director.
“For those who tend to drive their children to schools, it’s worth remembering that swapping all or part of their everyday journeys to active modes of travel can help cut dangerous levels of air pollution in our towns and cities.
“We are calling on the new Mayor of London to make walking, wheeling and cycling more inclusive by empowering a million more Londoners with the skills and resources to cycle regularly.
“We know that many more Londoners have started walking and cycling more during lockdown. Let’s help them continue to travel more actively as life slowly gets back to normal.”
Held annually by Sustrans, this year’s challenge will see more than half a million children walk, cycle, scoot and wheel their journeys to and from school.
For more information visit: www.bigpedal.org.uk
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