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Westminster council takes action on engine idling

Westminster city council held a day of action to tackle engine idling on Tuesday (July 12), as part of a bid to reduce emissions from road transport.

The action day saw volunteers ranging from cab drivers to residents, spending the morning in 10 air quality hotspots across the borough– to remind drivers of the need to switch off engines when vehicles are stationary.

Westminster engine day

Volunteers join Cllr Heather Acton (front row, fifth from left) as part of the engine idling day

Before the event Westminster city council held a two-day training programme for the volunteers, which aimed to build their confidence in engaging with drivers.

Impact

Councillor Heather Acton, cabinet member for sustainability and parking, said: “Given our residents’ concerns and the impact poor air quality can have on business and tourism, improving air quality is high on our agenda.

“We need to urgently tackle the harmful effects sooner rather than later, while understanding the needs of those who move around central London.

“By proactively engaging with drivers and making them aware of how, by simply switching their engine off when they are not moving, they can help cut air pollution, we can be more mindful of our impact upon the environment and reduce unnecessary fumes. These small steps are essential for us to move towards creating a greener city which residents, visitors and workers can enjoy all year round.”

Engines

Last year Westminster city council began work to clamp down on engine idling, involving the use of traffic marshals who are tasked with approaching motorists and requesting them to turn off their engines (see airqualitynews.com story).

In 2014, Islington borough council also introduced on the spot fines for engine idlers in a bid to cut traffic emissions (see airqualitynews.com story), while Camden has also been seeking to prevent idling by bus drivers in the borough.

Westminster city council is bidding for £1 million to create a low emission neighbourhood in Marylebone (see airqualitynews.com story).

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is set to make a decision next week on Tuesday (July 19) to decide whether Marylebone should be made into a low emission neighbourhood.

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