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Campaign targets school-run engine idling

Published on Friday, April 20, 2018

A NEW campaign is urging school-run drivers in Leicester to turn off their engines when picking up or dropping off in a bid to cut air pollution.


Leicester City Council has launched the campaign to help reduce unnecessary emissions and cut school-run pollution caused by engine idling.


Posters will be displayed close to school gates and carry a simple message to drivers: ‘Switch off your engine for cleaner air’.


Switching off a vehicle’s engine when it is stationary for more than one minute will reduce the amount of harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM10), emitted.


It can also help reduce fuel consumption. Many newer cars have anti-idling fitted as standard.


Car stickers and book bag flyers, with more information about the impact of engine idling on air quality, will also be available to schools.


Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and public health, said: “This campaign is about getting drivers to make a really small change that could play a big part in improving air quality.


“Turning off your engine when parked even for a minute or two will help cut pollution. By working with schools, we can begin introduce this simple behaviour change.


“Of course, walking and cycling is healthier, cheaper and better for air quality than driving and parking outside your school. But this is a small way that drivers can play their part in helping to tackle air pollution.


“Cutting unnecessary emissions is one of the goals we are working towards with the city’s ambitious air quality action plan”


The new poster campaign was launched at Stokes Wood Primary School, in New Parks.


Head teacher Jane Gadsby said: “Our children are very keen to contribute to the sustainability of the world around them and have recently been working towards the Green Flag ECO award.


“The big project that the school is involved in at the moment is with Sustrans. This is encouraging more children and parents to cycle or scoot to school.


“The School Council is already working to encourage parents who drive children in, to park further away so it reduces cars parked around the school and hopefully results in more families walking in.”


The new campaign is being funded through 'Choose How You Move' – a three-year programme of sustainable transport schemes backed by £3.2milllion of Government cash.


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