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  1. ITV Report

Sadiq Khan: Ban cars near schools to fight pollution

Credit: PA

Cars should be banned on some roads near schools in a bid to tackle pollution, London's Mayor has said.

The move would make those areas safer and encourage parents to walk their children to school, Sadiq Khan said as he continues his efforts to clean up the capital's air.

Speaking to the Times, Mr Khan said:

Why can't we work with schools and councils to have some roads outside schools where cars aren't allowed to go?

Really encourage mums, dads, carers and children to walk to school. It will be safer and you are not breathing in toxic air when playing in the playground.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON
Credit: PA

London is one of 16 areas that has been sent a "final warning" by the European Commission for repeated breaches of legal limits of nitrogen dioxide.

The city, which the Government has admitted it will not meet legal targets until 2025, saw annual limits for nitrogen dioxide set by the European Union broken on one road just five days into this year.

Mr Khan had called for a national diesel scrappage fund to help get the most polluting vehicles off the road and for powers to tackle other sources of air pollution.

Credit: PA

Urging quicker action on the issue, Mr Khan said: "You can't play politics with people's lives and people's health. Every day action is delayed, it means another young person breathing in this toxic air, an older person having breathing problems because of the poor quality of the air and literally people die.

The reason why I'm so angry about this and it's a priority for me is that the science and the evidence is unarguable and yet it appears the government is ignoring it - 40 or 50 years ago, we thought smoking was bad and yet our forbears took no action. We know air quality is a killer. It makes you sick and no action has been taken. It's a health emergency.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON