Anti-idling campaign launched

Published Wednesday, 11 March 2020

An anti-idling campaign has been launched following the news that some motorists still leave their engine running whilst parked.

Following last year’s announcement, the aim of the anti-idling campaign is to improve the air that we breathe and limiting idling is a simple way to do that. The campaign offers advice and education targeting those areas of greatest risk, such as around schools for example. Signs will be installed at various locations and as a last resort, the campaign will see enforcement action taken against the minority of drivers who continue to leave their engine running. However, it is hoped that there will be a positive change in behaviour.

“We appreciate that some vehicle journeys cannot be avoided but that does not excuse leaving your engine running while waiting for your children to leave school as that creates unnecessary pollution. Enforcement action is always a last resort and our anti-idling campaign aims to get the message across to people that we can all do our bit and together we will make a difference” said Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment

Kath Margetts, Head Teacher at Raglan Primary School said, “Raglan is delighted to be involved in the launch of this new initiative. As an Eco School we are constantly developing the children’s awareness of ways to reduce the negative impact that the way we live has on our environment. We believe that idling impacts greatly on the health of the whole community and welcome this opportunity to work with our families to take this simple step towards improving the air quality around our school.”

Research shows that concentrations around an idling diesel car are on average 2.6 times higher than ambient levels and higher at children’s head height. The campaign launched at Raglan Primary School and it is envisaged that others will follow this initiative and support the campaign, too.

Poor air quality is a major health concern and as a major source of pollution is road transport, idling engines contribute to local air pollution. The advice is to switch off your engine if parked or waiting for a minute or longer to help improve local air quality. It is a small change that will make a big difference.

Motorists find many reasons to keep their vehicle idling including the myth that stopping and starting is bad for the engine. Drivers also thought that idling on a yellow line is okay – although any illegal parking like this could result in a fine. These myths are not true of course, as modern engines for example, will not have a problem stopping and starting and by not idling, there is less fuel consumption and cost.


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