ZEN comes to Archway (Zero Emissions Network)

26 May 2017
The Archway 'Zero Emissions Network' (ZEN) is working to make Archway a cleaner, healthier place to work and do business by improving local air quality, supporting active travel and reducing business energy and transport costs.
One of the downsides of living in a thriving area like Archway is that the air quality here is some of the worst in London. Some of the main causes are busy roads used by lorries, cars, buses and taxis, but some are surprising - residential boilers are a major contributor to the problem. Two indicators of poor quality air - nitrous oxide and particulate emissions - are regularly monitored and found to be in excess of acceptable limits, particularly along our busiest routes, Archway Road, Junction Road and Holloway Road.
A joint investigation by the Guardian newspaper and the environmental organisation Greenpeace revealed that hundreds of thousands of children are being exposed to illegal levels of damaging air pollution from diesel vehicles at schools and nurseries across England and Wales. The report highlighted the danger of high exposure to traffic fumes, particularly to children, as this can reduce lung growth and produce long term ill health.
The Royal College of Physicians calculates that poor air quality causes 10,000 early deaths a year in London. Poor air exacerbates cardio vascular and cardio pulmonary diseases and it is especially bad for children. The cost of poor air health impacts across the UK are calculated at £15 - £20 billion. (£20 billion is over 15% of the current NHS budget.)
Money from the Mayor's Air Quality Fund and from Islington Council has been set aside to create a clean air project, the Archway ZEN (Zero Emissions Network). This will follow on from a successful pilot project in Shoreditch. The pilot offered firmís energy efficiency audits backed by practical help such as grants to upgrade boilers, help to provide showers for staff after cycling to work and improved cycle parking. The project also looked at providing alternatives such as cargo bikes for deliveries, electric vehicles and shared car ownership schemes.
The first stage of the Archway ZEN is underway, raising awareness of the problem and getting input from local businesses and organisations. A representative of the ZEN has already been visiting to get their input and suggest a variety of solutions. The aim is to make Archway a healthier place to live and work.
For further information visit the Archway ZEN website.
If your business or school/community centre/health centre would welcome a chance to get involved contact victoria.howse@islington.gov.uk
Working on it!