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Anti-idling campaigns should be run UK-wide, says TRL

Local authorities UK-wide are being urged to replicate an anti-idling initiative run in London.

The government consultation looked at sources of emissions other than exhausts

TRL is emphasising that air pollution is not only a problem in the capital and says there is a need to replicate the anti-idling campaign across the rest of the UK to combat the impacts of air pollution on public health more widely

The Engine Off campaign started Monday 22 February 2021 and features posters and billboards across the capital, alerting drivers to the dangers of idling near schools and other locations.

But research and consultancy firm TRL is emphasising that air pollution is not only a problem in the capital and says there is a need to replicate the anti-idling campaign across the rest of the UK to combat the impacts of air pollution on public health more widely.

Each year, outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 40,000 premature deaths in the UK – 9,000 of which are in London. More than 75% of deaths are accounted for outside of the capital, with large cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh suffering from major sitting traffic issues.

The Idling Action London campaign uses data from a recent TRL study which highlighted the major problem faced in highly urbanised areas and says local real-world data should be used as the basis for a consistent nationwide approach to changing driver behaviour.

Richard Cuerden, director of the TRL Academy, said: “The TRL Idling Action Research represents the first time we’ve seen real-world data and the first time such data has been deployed as part of a public awareness campaign. The findings are startling and significantly worse than previous estimates. We must act now to combat the spectre of air pollution from engine idling.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006.