Barnet Mums for Lungs campaigner looks ahead to the new year
As a mother I hope for what every mother in Barnet hopes: for our children to be healthy in 2024.
Sadly, Barnet’s polluted air will remain a risk factor – the current levels of pollution harm our children and all of us. There are clear associations between air pollution and asthma, heart and lung disease, dementia, miscarriage, stunted lung growth in children, teenage psychotic episodes, and more.
It is good to see some politicians taking this health crisis seriously. I welcome the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone in Barnet, so the most polluting cars are no longer on our roads. I am also glad that Barnet Council made five school streets permanent.
Yet, there is so much to be done. There are no cycle lanes where we live in Friern Barnet and the roads surrounding our peaceful residential estate are heaving with traffic. So for 2024 I hope for more cycle lanes so all children can cycle safely, and more people will choose to drive less. Cycling needs to be safe.
I also wish for no wood burning in 2024. While it’s tempting to put on a fire in a woodburner or an open fireplace when it’s cold and dark outside, I hope that we’ll all snuggle up with blankets and our loved ones instead. Wood burning is highly polluting and releases more cancer-causing particles in our air than traffic.
More than anything I wish for all of us in 2024 to stay healthy and be able to breathe easy. Let’s keep cleaning up our air together.