Not everyone understands that the impacts of air pollution are very localised. A running engine emits emissions that are breathed in by anyone in close proximity to that vehicle. That parent waiting in their car until the school gates opens before they switch off their engine - they’re creating air pollution that those school children are breathing in. The friend that waits for you in the car while you scramble to pull on your coat and lock the front door – they are creating air pollution that exacerbates your neighbour’s asthma. 

Switching your engine off when stationary is one easy and simple way you can cut emissions and improve the air we breathe. That’s why we’re targeting this behaviour across pollution hotspots in five London boroughs during Clean Air Action Fortnight.

A recent report Every Breathe We Take: the lifelong impacts of air pollution attributes 40,000 deaths per year to exposure to outdoor air pollution. It links poor air quality to cancer, asthma, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even dementia. In total this adds up to a cost of £20 billion to our health service and business.

It’s critical that we come together to take action in our communities. That’s why we are working in partnership with Cross River Partnership’s Cleaner Air Better Business.  By joining forces with them and Kings College London, we are making Cleaner Air Action Fortnight possible and also measuring its impact.  After all, statistics talk.

The Air Quality Champions you will see on the street in Lambeth, Wandsworth, Westminster, and other boroughs in central London, are speaking to hundreds of drivers about what they can do.  But the emphasis on no idling is just the start; it’s far from the whole solution. It is a first step towards a public discourse on how we can work together to improve air quality. Join us on social media using the hashtag #noidling to support Clean Air Action Fortnight and share with us your ideas of how we can improve the air we breathe. And remember to switch off too!