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Tree-mendous: Green energy boost on Clean Air Day

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We are supercharging our efforts to cut pollution as new research published today on Clean Air Day shows eight out of 10 Londoners believe this should be a priority.

Councillor Dean Cohen, Chair of the Environment Committee, tests out one of our new charging points

Councillor Dean Cohen, Chair of the Environment Committee, tests out one of our new charging points

Our efforts will reduce the negative impact of poor air quality on the length and quality of residents’ lives. It will also help cut the cost to the NHS of almost £4billion a year in dealing with the health effects of poor air quality.

110 new e-vehicle charging points

We’ve installed 40 lamp column charging points for electric vehicles, and we’re installing another 40 this autumn. A further 30 stand-alone electric vehicle charging points will be added to car parks in the borough throughout the year.

Residents can charge their vehicles for as little as 25p per hour at the facilities. A full charge – taking around eight hours – will power most electric cars to travel more than 100 miles. The cost of covering that distance in a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle would be considerably higher.

The borough’s electric vehicle charging points have been plotted onto a map at barnet.gov.uk/electriccharging

4,500 trees for our borough

We’re planting 4,500 trees over five years to boost air quality, reduce the risk of flooding, provide protection from the sun, replace ageing trees and improve parks.

The scheme – thought to be the largest of its kind in London – will add to the 30,000 street trees and 164 hectares of woodland that we currently manage.

The new trees will help reduce air pollution caused by vehicles in areas near major roads like the A1, A41 and A406, such as Golders Green and Childs Hill. Hundreds more will be planted in the borough’s parks, near schools and at the side of its roads each year.

98 schools with STARS for sustainability

Nearly 100 of our schools – 98 in total – have achieved the STARS rating, which adds up to more than any other London borough. Headteachers must show they encourage parents and children to use Sustainable Travel to and from their school that is Active, Responsible and Safe (STARS) to achieve the rating.

Their methods for doing so are laid out in a travel plan – for which, 71 of our schools have achieved the gold standard. The proportion of parents using cars to take children to and from school has fallen by nearly 10 per cent across our borough in the last nine years.

Looking forward

Air pollution can reduce the length and quality of residents’ lives. To reduce its impact, try walking to school and work, visiting our parks and green spaces, and turning car engines off when station. Download the app at www.airtext.info to receive email, text or voicemail alerts when air quality is poor. This will help people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease reduce their exposure to pollution by limiting their outdoor activities to green spaces when air quality is poor.

We are working to identify GP practices with high levels of childhood asthma, as well as mapping hospitals admissions for asthma and lung disorders. This will be measured against pollution levels across the borough to help us further improve Barnet’s air quality.

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