Network Updates / London, United Kingdom / 2020-08-07

Fresh calls to stop idling vehicles in London:

New campaign urges businesses to tackle air pollution from idling engines

London, United Kingdom
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A new London-wide campaign was launched this week asking firms to pledge that their fleet drivers and other employees will not leave their engines on when parked.

Idling Action’s #enginesoff campaign is encouraging businesses to tackle air pollution caused by idling engines.

The Idling Action Project, jointly led by the City of London Corporation and the London Borough of Camden, and supported by the Mayor of London, has been running since 2016, and sees 30 London local authorities and the City of London Corporation joining forces in a bid to cut dangerous vehicle emissions.

“Through the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, we have helped businesses to cut air pollution through Business Low Emission Neighbourhoods and other local schemes, reducing pollution, supporting cleaner vehicles and greener forms of transport,” said London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues.

“Encouraging businesses to take the #EnginesOff pledge will build on this,” she added.

“As London recovers from COVID-19, it’s vital that businesses and other drivers in the capital consider the health of others and take this a simple but vital step towards cutting air pollution,” she continued.

It comes five months after the City of London Corporation announced raising fines for drivers who leave their engines on when parked as part of a push to improve air quality in its administrative zone.

“64,000 people die prematurely every year in the UK from breathing polluted air. Switching off the engine when your vehicle is parked is more important now than ever before,” said Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, Keith Bottomley.

“As we learn more about the harmful effects of COVID-19 on the lungs, we are making a particular plea to London’s businesses to play their part in ridding the capital of toxic air and saving lives,” he said.

Scientists around the world are exploring emerging evidence of possible links between air pollution and COVID-19 recovery times and infection rates.

As part of the campaign, Idling Action is offering London drivers free training and a providing a toolkit of resources to businesses, whose operations involve vehicle fleets, professional drivers, or employees who travel by car to work.

The group wants to arm companies with the knowledge of how best to reduce air pollution caused by vehicles to protect the health of drivers and the public.

Idling vehicles emit pollutants including nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter which are linked to asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis and cancer.

People with respiratory conditions, the elderly, pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable.

The Idling Action Project has been running since 2016. Now in its fourth phase, it is jointly led by the City of London Corporation and the London Borough of Camden. The campaign is funded by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund.

Read the press release from the City of London Corporation: COVID-19: new call for London’s fleets to turn engines off when parked

Visit the Idling Action website.

Banner photo by Albert Lugosi/CC BY 2.0