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London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Formula E's Sam Bird team up to tackle air pollution with Newham school visit

22 January 2020

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Formula E racer Sam Bird visited a Newham school to throw their weight behind the fight for clean air in the capital, ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship coming to London later this year.

The visit took place as ExCeL London gears up to host the season finale of Formula E on July 25 and 26, which will see the series use a world’s first indoor/outdoor circuit.

Salisbury Primary School welcomed the Mayor and Envision Virgin Racing’s Bird, who arrived in the FIA Formula E Gen2 race car, which is one of 200 London schools in areas of high air pollution putting in place measures to protect pupils from toxic air following an air quality audit by the Mayor.

On Tuesday, pupils were given the chance to see the car up close as well as hear from Londoner Bird – winner of nine E-Prix during his Formula E career – about how the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is helping to innovate electric vehicle technology and support London’s electric vehicle revolution.

Bird highlighted the importance to Formula E of being a catalyst for change, addressing air pollution and helping to create a cleaner future, faster.

“It’s been great to visit Salisbury Primary School today with the Mayor of London to raise awareness of both the championship and the future of electric vehicles,” said Bird. “As a leading Formula E team, we’re working hard to engage with those affected worst by pollution – particularly in the cities we race in – with our initiative the ‘Race Against Climate Change’.

“It was really inspiring to see that this topic is so important to the next generation too, with the children of Salisbury Primary working hard to make a change for the better.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “London's toxic air is directly harming the health of our children. Working with boroughs like Newham we are determined to do everything in our power to protect them and ensure future generations breathe cleaner, healthier air. It’s wonderful to see Salisbury Primary School leading the way and transforming their environment into a safe, clean space for everyone.”

Rokhsana Fiaz, Mayor of Newham, said: “It is absolutely critical that we work together to tackle the pollution that threatens all our lives, particularly our children.

“Working together with the Mayor of London we have identified some our most affected schools and I’m delighted that we have been able to make these crucial changes at Salisbury school. But it’s not just about mitigating the worst effects of poor air quality, here in Newham we are funding an ambitious project called Newham Climate Now which over the coming months and years will clean our environment and tackle climate change, so that our future generations can grow up in a safer, cleaner and greener borough.”

See pictures from the event in our gallery below:

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