COVID-19: new call for London's drivers to turn engines off

Published: 6 August 2020

Redbridge Council is to participate in a new London-wide campaign encouraging businesses to tackle air pollution caused by idling engines. 
 
The Idling Action Project, jointly led by Camden Council and City of London Corporation, and supported by the Mayor of London, has been running since 2016. Redbridge will join forces with 29 other London authorities and City of London Corporation in a bid to cut dangerous vehicle emissions.
 
The renewed call for action comes amidst emerging evidence that air pollution is linked to poor recovery and higher infection rates of COVID19 due to the damage pollution causes to the lungs.
 
Idling Action's #EnginesOff campaign asks businesses to pledge that their drivers and other employees will not leave their engines on when parked. As well as asking businesses to take part, Redbridge Council’s own drivers have also taken the #EnginesOff pledge in addition to extra training on pollution reduction.
 
As part of the council's pledge, Redbridge is asking all of its employees and fleet drivers to switch off their vehicle engines when parked, while on our premises, operating vehicles on our behalf, or travelling to and from work.
 
Idling Action offers London drivers free training and provides a toolkit of resources to businesses whose operations involve vehicle fleets, professional drivers, or employees who travel by car to work.
 
The Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal, commented “As a council, we are working hard to improve the local environment and taking part in the #EnginesOff campaign is just one way we can reduce pollution and help make Redbridge a healthier place to live. We’re encouraging local businesses to join us, together we can make a big difference.”
 
Councillor John Howard, Cabinet Member for Civic Pride, said: "As Redbridge recovers from COVID-19, it's vital that businesses in the borough consider the health of others and take this simple but vital step towards cutting air pollution." 
 
"At the same time, it's also essential that we as a council lead by example. We're encouraging our fleet drivers and staff who drive to switch their engines off when they're parked up. By doing this, we'll be playing our part in reducing air pollution in the borough. It’s essential that everyone does what they can to improve air quality in this great borough.”
 
Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Shirley Rodrigues, said: 'City Hall is happy to support this important pan-London campaign to tackle engine idling. 
 
"Through the Mayor's Air Quality Fund, we have helped businesses to cut air pollution through Business Low Emission Neighbourhoods and other local schemes, reducing pollution, supporting cleaner vehicles, and greener forms of transport. Encouraging businesses to take the #EnginesOff pledge will build on this. 
 
"As London recovers from COVID-19, it's vital that businesses and other drivers in the capital consider the health of others and take this a simple but vital step towards cutting air pollution."
 
Idling Action has already been running air pollution anti-idling workshops with 40 schools, and speaking with 7,900 drivers to ask them to switch off their engines at regular idling action events throughout the 31 partner boroughs. 
 
To find out more about the #EnginesOff Campaign and sign the pledge, as well as learn more about how the London boroughs are tackling air pollution, visit www.idlingaction.london

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