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Dad claims he’s forced to lock kids inside home to protect them from toxic fumes

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Ediz Mevlit said there are high levels of pollutions outside his home in Palmers Green, Enfield, North London. He claimed his children were hospitalised from ‘choking’ on the fumes

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London dad says his family is ‘choking’ from pollution

A dad has claimed he has been forced to lock his children inside his house during peak hours to protect them from toxic fumes outside.

Ediz Mevlit said there are high levels of pollutions outside his home in Palmers Green, Enfield, North London, almost every afternoon, due to new clean air measures.

The 46-year-old has explained his 20mph-limit street is now being used as a “rat run” between the congested A105 and a parallel main road since Enfield Council introduced Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) nearby.

During peak hours the dad either keeps Melissa Mevlit, 12, and Dilan Mevlit, eight, inside, shutting the windows and doors, or drives them 2-3 miles for a walk in cleaner air.

However, the worried dad insists the damage is already being done and has even claimed the children were hospitalised from “choking” on the fumes.

Ediz Mevlit on his traffic-packed street
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)

Mr Mevlit said he keeps his children Melissa and Dilan indoors during peak hours or takes them for a walk somewhere else to protect their health
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)

Mr Mevlit said he has taken his kids to the hospital with breathing difficulties over the past few months and fears they might be diagnosed with asthma.

LTNs were introduced in London last summer to redirect traffic away from residential areas by closing off roads to motor vehicles, installing cycle lanes and widening pavements.

In videos shared to social media this week, Mr Mevlit documents the congestion on his road, which has a school on it, while saying “we are choking”.

Enfield Council said the measures were only a trial and were “specifically designed to encourage people to use more sustainable modes of transport.”

The news comes three weeks after it was revealed that Ealing Council is set to scrap seven of their LTNs after they made “no material difference” to air quality but did increase traffic congestion.

Mr Mevlit said: “I just want to protect my family. We shut all our windows and doors, so we effectively lock ourselves in. It’s horrific.

“They’ve decided to provide the most affluent people with a low traffic neighbourhood and that’s forced vehicles to be displaced in roads like mine.

“Sometimes the pollution gets that bad I have to take my children into a low traffic neighbourhood for a walk in clean air. Anywhere apart from being at home.

“They’ve been to the hospital with breathing difficulties and the doctors have tests planned. They’ll probably be diagnosed with asthma very soon.

“They’ve been suffering from breathlessness and wheezing for about four months now. They cough and choke and the damage is already being done.”

Traffic jams in the street at around 6pm
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)

Mr Mevlit’s daughter Melissa holding a protest sign on her street
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)

He added: “We can’t go for walks and going to the shop is a hazard. There’s motorbikes and quad bikes travelling down pavements. It’s absolutely dangerous and we’ve just been ignored.

“You see kids almost being run over and I’m scared to let my kids out to play on their own street. It’s created carnage.

“We’ve got white cupboards in our house and you can see the pollution on them because they get dirty very easily. I can feel it in my lungs. You just breathe heavier.

“Jenny is really concerned too. She worries about me because I’m at the age where my health can affect me with heart attacks or lung cancer.

“It’s mentally affecting me now because every day you’re thinking if your kids are going to be able to breathe well after school. We took the clean air for granted before.

“I’m just a desperate parent. I’m not willing to let my children be used as collateral for an experiment which has failed.”

Mr Mevlit with his son Dylan
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)

The dad said the traffic jams usually begin as early as 3.30pm and continue until around 6pm, with weekends being quieter.

He said he can smell toxic fumes from his home but because there are no pollution monitors in the area, the issue cannot be proved officially.

His determination to end the congestion has inspired him to run as a ward councillor in the local election in May and become a vocal campaigner on Twitter.

His video posted during rush hour on October 11 was viewed more than 700 times.

His post said: “Two hours solid. My children are as far away from this as possible with doors and windows shut. To live like this so others get quiet streets is disgraceful.”

Mr Mevlit’s son Dilan walking down the street
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)

The man said he is worried for his children’s health
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)

Enfield Council said they are currently collating traffic data, cycle and pedestrian volumes, impact on emergency services, community feedback, equality considerations, air quality, noise, Healthy Streets indicators and road collisions.

A future decision report planned for publication later this year or early next year will summarise this information and will inform a decision on the future of the trial to be made by the Cabinet Member.

An Enfield Council spokesperson said: “Enfield Council’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods were funded by and follow the guidance laid out by the current government and are designed to create more space for people to participate in active travel such as walking, cycling and scooting.

“They are specifically designed to encourage people to use more sustainable modes of transport. With fewer people driving and more travelling actively, air quality will improve, carbon emissions are reduced, reducing the borough’s contribution to climate change in line with our aim for Enfield to be carbon neutral by 2040.

“However we have been clear from the start of this process that the introduction of LTNs was on a trial basis and we would review their performance, their impact on traffic flow and residents’ comments, before deciding whether or not to make individual schemes permanent.

“The formal consultation process for the scheme in question ran from 28 September to 2 May 2021. The Council is currently in the process of collating and assessing all the data and feedback collected during the monitoring period, ahead of a decision being made on the future of the LTNs later this year or early next year.”

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