Introduction

Air pollution has a significant impact on public health and accounts for around 9,400 premature deaths in London each year, affecting the health of many more with asthma, hay fever and other conditions. Vehicles are the biggest cause of air pollution in Camden.  

Find out what we’re doing to improve air quality

Clean air for my street

How to improve air quality in your area:

  • make sustainable and active travel choices. Walk or cycle where you can to reduce air pollution. You can take clean air walking routes across London, use one of Camden’s new cycle lanes and store a bike securely in a bike hangar near you
  • don’t engine idle – it increases the amount of toxic air we breathe
  • improve energy efficiency in your home, for example through upgrading your boiler or improving insulation. Find out about how to get advice and apply for grants
  • Set up a Play Street on your road. A Play Street closes off a road to traffic for a few hours on a regular basis in order to provide children with a safe space to play freely.
  • If you have to make a car journey, join a car club or use an electric vehicle. Camden has the largest network of car clubs, with a car within walking distance of all residents 24/7
  • electric vehicles produce no air pollution emissions
  • get free pollution warnings and health advice from airTEXT, a pollution forecasting service set up by Camden and a number of other London boroughs

Watch this video to find out how exposure to air pollution differs depending on whether you walk, cycle, drive or take the bus:

Clean air for my school

How to improve air quality near your local school: 

  • Swap school journeys in the car for walking or cycling to reduce congestion and increase exercise. Take a look at Camden Cycling Skills for safe cycling training and find your clean air walking route
  • Don’t engine idle outside school gates. Children are more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and it can have a serious impact on their health.
  • Encourage your school to develop a School Travel Plan, championing journeys to school by walking, scooting and cycling. Schools who do their School Travel Plans using the TfL STARS accreditation scheme are eligible to receive funding to support their travel plans
  • encourage your school to support a Healthy School Street
  • download free air quality lesson plans (PDF, 5.4 MB) for primary schools from London Sustainability Exchange. Check out the Camden Climate Change Alliance website for more environmental resources for schools

Clean air for my workplace

How to improve air quality at your workplace in Camden: 

  • encourage staff to walk or cycle to work
  • register as a cycle to work scheme provider and help your employees spread the cost of a new commuting bike through 12 monthly tax-free instalments
  • sign up to Camden Climate Change Alliance and join another 260 businesses improving their energy efficiency and reducing emissions
  • bid for funding from the Camden Climate Fund to support energy efficiency improvements, such as heating an lighting updates and installation of solar panels 
  • find out about internal air quality in your workplace from the World Health Organisation and their acceptable limit values for various pollutants
  • contact your Trade Union if you need help to improve internal air quality at your place of work
  • choose green energy suppliers and environmentally sustainable products

New Developments

Find out about air quality planning requirements for new developments in Camden

Camden Town Low Emission Neighbourhood

Overview

Camden Council will be creating a Low Emission Neighbourhood in Camden Town, after being awarded £500,000 from the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund. Our goal is to reduce air pollution over the next three years by working with the community and local businesses in the Camden Town area. We will do this by reducing emissions from transport, as well as from heating and cooking appliances in buildings. You can see a map of the Low Emission Neighbourhood area below.

Over the summer of 2019 we held the UK’s first Citizens’ Assembly on the climate crisis. One proposal the citizens put to the council was to promote and trial more car-free zones and days. The Camden Town Low Emission Neighbourhood directly responds to this by trialling the pedestrianisation of Camden High Street, north of the junction where Camden Town station is located.

The Camden Town Low Emission Neighbourhood project area is outlined on this map

What is happening in the Low Emission Neighbourhood?

Camden’s Low Emission Neighbourhood will deliver a variety of measures that improve our environment for everyone. These include closing roads (where appropriate) to through traffic and opening them up to healthier ways of travelling; cutting emissions from transport and buildings; lowering traffic casualties; and providing more efficient use of the road space. This will bring about better air quality for all who Iive and work in, and travel through, the area. Taken together, these steps will also benefit the local economy. Camden Town Unlimited Business Improvement District supported the Low Emission Neighbourhood bid.

The actions we are looking at carrying out include:

  • Trialling a weekend pedestrianisation scheme on Camden High Street, removing all motor vehicles from the stretch between Camden Town station to Hawley Crescent. This will be implemented during the summer and festive periods as well as on National Clean Air Day and Car Free Day, creating a temporary new pedestrianised area. This will provide a safer and more pleasant environment for residents, businesses, and visitors, and all those simply walking through the area to other parts of Camden.
  • Improving and upgrading the walking and cycling connections into and through the Low Emission Neighbourhood.
  • Installing a network of Electric Vehicle Charging Points (EVCPs) across the Low Emission Neighbourhood, while also reducing emissions from cars and other vehicles around residential roads by taking action to discourage and prevent people leaving their engines idling.
  • Supporting local businesses to reduce emissions from freight deliveries and waste collections, while reducing overall emissions from the market’s activities.
  • Implementing a series of ‘Healthy School Streets’ and ‘Play Streets’ in the area, while reviewing a range of parking approaches that will reduce traffic levels.
  • Targeting building emissions by using our environmental business network, the Camden Climate Change Alliance, and working with Camden Town Unlimited.

You can read the press release about on the funding award for this project – and Camden’s other air quality improvement projects – here

Share your views on the Camden Town Low Emission Neighbourhood

We are currently running an engagement hub to help us shape the development of the Camden Town Low Emission Neighbourhood by sharing your views about transport, air quality and public spaces in Camden Town.

You can share your views on our engagement platform: Camden Town Low Emission Neighbourhood - engagement hub