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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 3 December 2009
How the school run blights the lives of all our children

• IT seems that the current economic crisis has not yet bitten at the heels of the parents who continue to drive their children to school.
Often this journey by car is barely a 20-minute walk.
As a five-year-old I walked over 30 minutes to school with my siblings, with no adult.
The main difference then was that all children did so and traffic was nearly non-existent (albeit I then lived in a northern town).
Global warming issues aside, why do these parents need to drive their children to school when the health cost to the humble cyclists and pedestrians is so high?
The nano-particulates contained in vehicle exhaust emissions not only penetrate deep into the lungs but are also absorbed from the skin directly into the bloodstream and then to major organs, like the brain.
Small children are forced to dodge dangerously between “school-run” cars to enter and exit school, enveloped in clouds of harmful car fumes. The school gate vicinity should be made a car-free zone.
Camden state schools are supposedly allocated primarily to children living in closest proximity to the school.
Why then so many cars at the school gate?
Perhaps because these parents, cocooned in their high-tech, air-filtered, metal boxes, do not wish their own children to cross dangerous roads and breathe in the cocktail of noxious fumes which the pedestrians and cyclists are forced to do.
Government legislation practically banished the poor smoker from the face of Britain.
Cars emit daily infinitely more dangerous smoke and chemicals than any smoker could, yet legislation to reduce traffic pollution is negligible.
Cars continue to dominate our environment making the streets dangerous and unhealthy for our children in particular.
The wise words of Sir Winston Churchill still continue to ring true today: “The motor car is the scourge of the 20th century.”
J Roach
Fellows Road, NW3

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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