Monday 4 December 2017 Following our trip to Bonnington Square we headed over to City Hall where we’d been invited to a ‘Hostile Streets’ event, reporting on a series of visits to Outer London junctions. Host Caroline Russell, London Assembly Member, stated that ‘one of the most extreme cases was in Brentford’ where she was stuck in the middle of fast-flowing traffic, with children who use the crossing on a daily basis for school. We asked if traffic on the A4 could be reduced to 30mph to help improve air quality and to improve safety through the residential area. The report lists decreasing traffic speed as one possible measure in improving such roads and this is now in the hands of TfL to consider. John Dales, from Urban Movement and a trustee of Living Streets, chaired the meeting and being local, is also keen to improve conditions on the A4. Dr Rachel Aldred, a Reader in Transport at the University of Westminster, had been looking at the risk factors involved. Lucy Saunders, from TfL said that their approach was to create ‘Healthy Streets’ which has an impact on all people. The Hostile Streets report can be read here – Brentford made it on to the front cover…..
Monday 4 December 2017 We invited our Brentford Councillors to visit Bonnington Square with us to experience in person this amazing green enclave on the outskirts of a busy traffic zone. Taking the train from Brentford to Vauxhall, we walked through the tunnel at South Lambeth Place, across the road and down Langley Lane. Already containers of all shapes and sizes sat outside homes, overflowing with plants. Space had been made around the bases of trees to plant grasses, shrubs and palms. The garden at the centre of Bonnington Square has made full use of the space, transforming it in to a haven of calm for all to use. Residents around the square have fully embraced the value of green infrastructure and have integrated plants wherever possible, bringing life to otherwise uninspiring streets. It’s great to see how the square changes throughout the year – see our September trip here.
Our aim is to make Brentford’s streets and spaces a lot greener to help mitigate the harmful effects of traffic pollution, by adding shrubs, bushes, hedges, trees and planting wherever possible. Hope you’ll join us in this venture!!
8 December 2017
Referring to p27 of the AQAP, see Figure 10, we are bemused that Brentford is not included as one of TfL’s 187 Focus Areas for air quality across London, within the M4/A4 Corridor, for air quality across London. Continue reading
30 June 2017 We attended a Sustainability Summit at Kew House School, organised by InterClimate Network, a charity who work with secondary school students to inspire them to take action in Climate Change, asking ‘What can I do to make a difference?’. Schools involved were Kew House, Gumley House, Isleworth Boys and Hammersmith Academy. Guest speaker Dr Michal Nachmany (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE) was inspirational, and not just for the students. She discussed how as humans we become addicted to our lifestyles, even if we know it’s bad for us. Plastics, use of electricity, animal products (making 1/4 of emissions in the world) are difficult to step away from. The most vulnerable populations in the world are the most effected by climate change. There is a need for a) Regulation, b) Motivation, what makes people want to change and c) Alternatives.
Air Quality Brentford went along with members of BRAG (Brentford Recycling Action Group) to lead mini-workshops to discuss issues of Air Quality and Recycling, alongside others discussing Transport and Resources. It was a wonderful afternoon and the brainstorming ideas from the pupils were a joy to witness, see above. We hope to work further with these schools in the Autumn term, giving our air quality mini-talk, and look forward to helping them put their actions in to practice to help make our air cleaner.
Sunday 23 April 2017 We invited Tesla and Nissan to showcase their fully electric vehicles at Brentford Market for World Earth Day to help promote alternatives to diesel and petrol vehicles. Tesla brought along their Model X sport utility vehicle with vertically opening rear doors, and the ability to seat 7 passengers comfortably. This car can do zero to 60mph in as quick as 2.9 seconds, has all wheel drive and a 100kWh battery providing 351 miles of range. It takes just one hour to fully load the battery with one of Tesla’s own super-chargers, available at various service stations and Westfield and Heathrow. This particular model starts at around $68,000. They also have a Model S saloon and the Model 3 available next year will be their most affordable car coming in at around $38,000. Nissan brought along their LEAF hatchback, starting at a more modest £26,000 which fully charged can do a range of 155 miles. It has no internal-combustion engine or a traditional gearbox, so it has far fewer moving parts to maintain. The cost of electricity is far lower than that of petrol or diesel. This car will fully charge for 8 hours over night from a station at your home and be ready to drive the next morning. Both cars drew a lot of attention in different ways, they complemented each other perfectly and gave us a snapshot of the range of possibilities out there for cleaner vehicles and the differences in affordability. Continue reading
Saturday 9 April 2017 Concerned residents took to the streets at the weekend, placards in hand, to help raise awareness that the proposed new runway at Heathrow airport will mean a further flightpath directly above Brentford over the Green Dragon Estate, New Road, Hamilton Road, Glenhurst Road/Orchard Road, the A4 and Boston Manor Park. The walk was organised by BASHR3 who have the support of Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford & Isleworth. Continue reading