By regularly turning off their engines, drivers can save fuel and money, and improve the quality of air.
This morning, city councillors, staff and other Clean Air volunteers hit the streets of Southampton in the areas around the Civic Centre, talking to people about the benefits of switching off their car engines when they are stationary.
As part of the recently launched Clean Air Network’s ‘No-Idling’ campaign, this event links with billboard messages around the city until the beginning of April. The aim is to inform drivers of the fact that by regularly turning off their engines they can save fuel and money, and improve the quality of air in the immediate area for themselves, pedestrians, cyclists and other car users.
Councillor Christopher Hammond, portfolio holder for Sustainable Living, who took part as a volunteer commented: “Idling your car for longer than 30 seconds is a waste of fuel, detrimental to your health and unnecessarily adding to the pollution in the city. This No-Idling campaign is helping to raise awareness in pollution hotspots and by engaging with people, helping to change behaviour.”
The No-Idling campaign is just one in a package of actions looking to tackle the poor air quality in the city. As road transport is the largest contributor to pollution in Southampton (approximately 70%)., simply switching off engines when stationary would have a significant impact on harmful pollutants in the air.
Christabel Watts, from the Environment Centre, which is facilitating the No-Idling events, said: “This is a small act that everyone can take, that would significantly create a tangible improvement if enough people did it. Even more importantly, by switching off when parked drivers will improve the air quality of the immediate location where they are based so that everyone in and outside of the car is breathing less polluted air.”
So far the Clean Air volunteers have spoken with 67 people in friendly and relaxed encounters, which have seen the majority of drivers happy to switch off. More No-Idling events will be taking place in Southampton until the beginning of April.
Find out more about being a Clean Air volunteer, or join the Clean Air Network.