October 2 2014 Latest news:

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A group of parents and young children decorated the streets last Saturday to mark World Car Free Day.

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The protesters ‘reclaimed’ spaces usually occupied by parked cars by creating chalk artwork on various roads in and around Highbury Corner, including Highbury Crescent and Laycock Street.

They wanted to highlight the problem of air pollution and persuade car owners to leave their vehicles at home.

Among the protesters was 10-year-old Nell May, who lives in Finsbury Park and has asthma. She said: “We drew clouds, statistics and messages like ‘save our lungs’ on the floor.

“We had aprons and feather dusters so that we could clean the sky. If people aren’t going far they could leave their cars at home.”

The group says air pollution is behind a huge increase in asthma among youngsters. A recent study by the Better Archway Forum showed levels of nitrogen dioxide in parts of Islington were far above recommended EU levels.

Caroline Russell, from Islington Green Party, criticised the council for not getting involved in the protest.

She said: “It’s regrettable that the council chose to do nothing to promote World Car-Free Day. It’s a real missed opportunity and that’s why we took to the streets on Saturday.”

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