Drivers urged to end 'idling' to curb air pollution

Woodbridge town councillor Martin Wilks, chair of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Committee

Woodbridge town councillor Martin Wilks, chair of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Committee - Credit: WOODBRIDGE TOWN COUNCIL

Motorists are being called on to switch off their engines when stationary by a Suffolk town council in an effort to reduce air pollution. 

Woodbridge Town Council’s Climate and Ecological Emergency Committee (CEEC) has made the appeal, citing information from motoring organisation the RAC, which shows that leaving engines running- or ‘idling’ as it is known- contributes to the level of harmful gases in the air. 

In particular, exhaust fumes contain carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, which are linked to asthma and other lung diseases. 

The committee also cites an estimate by The Royal College of Physicians that 40,000 deaths each year in the UK are linked to air pollution. 

CEEC chair councillor Martin Wilks said: “With modern engines and batteries, idling makes for more wear on the engine (not less, as is sometimes thought). And your heater or aircon will run perfectly well without the engine on for about half an hour.”