We support School Streets | Our news

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We support School Streets

school streets initiative

The School Streets initiative is all about encouraging physical activity, reducing pollution, and enabling healthy growth, learning and development. They tackle congestion and improve air quality outside the school gates, making it easier and safer to walk and cycle to school.

Here at Barts Health NHS Trust, we encourage any initiative that supports the long-term development and outcomes of children amongst our communities.

The Chief Medical Officer Report shows that children in England are among the most overweight in Europe. With 24% of children starting primary school overweight or obese, which rises to 33% by the time they leave primary school.

Dr Nadia Audhali, children’s doctor at The Royal London Hospital said: “Working in the Emergency Department I regularly see children attending due to impacts of air pollution and related to car use. Whether it be breathing problems, road traffic accidents, or obesity, so it’s great to see more support for school streets. They are a proven public health intervention which improve air quality around schools, encourage physical activity, and reduce risk from traffic.”  

Examples across London have shown School Streets have a beneficial influence both on parents and children to travel more actively and sustainably. This provides physical and mental health benefits as well as creating more sustainable communities. As health professionals we see this as an important part of any council’s strategy to reduce the health inequalities and improve children’s health.

Shane DeGaris chief executive of Barts Health NHS Trust said: “We welcome the continued investment announced this week for School Streets across London. All children have a right to a healthy start and we look forward to working with partners to ensure all children have an active journey to school in a healthy environment to support this.”

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