Oxford city council has teamed up with green campaign group Oxford Friends of the Earth to launch an anti-idling campaign at schools in the city.
The anti-idling campaign, known as Oxford Air Needs Your Care, aims to raise awareness of the dangers of toxic air pollution and the impact it has on the health of children.
The initial focus on schools will be widened to other parts of the city to encourage drivers to switch off their engines when they are stationary.
The campaign will see schoolchildren surveying idling engines at the school gate, and pupils will learn about the health impact of air pollution – along with the simple measure they and their parents can take to reduce emissions.
Last month, the city council sent educational toolkits to all Oxford’s primary and secondary schools to help schools teach children about the causes and impact of air pollution (see airqualitynews.com story).
Councillor John Tanner, Executive Board Member for a Clean and Green Oxford, said: “I’m thrilled that Oxford Friends of the Earth and the city council are working together on this anti-idling campaign. The message to parents and everyone else is switch-it-off if you are parked anywhere near a school gate. Better still, park further away and walk the last few metres to the school. It’s safer, saves money and keeps you fit, as well as cleaning-up the air.
“We all have a part to play in cleaning up Oxford’s air, whether it’s going electric, cycling or switching off your engine. I hope everyone will support this Oxford Friends of the Earth and city council anti-idling campaign. Our children most of all have the right to breathe clean air everywhere.â€?
Fiona Tavner, Coordinator of Oxford Friends of the Earth, said: “Tackling Oxford’s air pollution problem urgently requires a number of different approaches. Turning off your vehicle’s engine when stationary is a simple action. It is one way that we can collectively help to make a difference to air quality.â€?