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Calls To Scrap Motorway Expansion To Save Eton Pupils From Pollution

Calls To Scrap Motorway Expansion To Save Eton Pupils From Pollution

Motorway expansion could slow down cognitive development for Eton students

The pollution created from adding an extra lane to the M4, could affect the bright pupils who attend  Eton College, say campaigners.

The Mirror reports: Children at the £34,000-a-year private school, would be at risk of higher levels of toxic fumes from the addition of an extra lane on the M4, according to the Campaign for Better Transport.

They say the levels of nitrogen dioxide at junction six of the motorway, near the boarding school’s playing fields, are already at illegal levels, and the extra lane planned to ease access to Heathrow Airport would make matters worse.

According to a report in The Times , studies have shown that high levels of air pollution from traffic could risk slowing down the cognitive development of pupils at nearby schools.

In December, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee proposed the introduction of Low Emissions Zones to combat the high levels of pollution already seen near hundreds of schools in towns and cities across the country. It also called for taxes on diesel vehicles.

But most of the committee’s proposals were rejected by the Government last week, in a report that said there was no need for additional planning rules, and that filters should be fitted to schools’ ventilation systems to “provide cleaner air”.

The Highways Agency want to turn a stretch of the M4 between Reading and Heathrow into a “Smart Motorway” – with a variable speed limit and turning the hard shoulder into an additional lane to ease congestion.

The Campaign For Better Transport oppose the plan, saying the extra traffic would cause pollution levels to rise, particularly in the areas around Eton.