TfL seeks to curb emissions from engine idling

Second phase of campaign to reduce emissions by encouraging drivers to switch off engines when stationary launched by TfL and Mayor of London

Drivers in London are being urged to switch off their engines when parked or loading their vehicles as part of a campaign to reduce emissions across the capital.

The second phase of Transport for London’s ‘no-idling’ campaign, which began in January 2012, kicked off yesterday (September 26) with the backing of the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. It was launched alongside ‘Cleaner Air 4 Schools’, an air pollution awareness drive aimed at primary schools.

TfL has launched the second phase of its campaign to encourage drivers to switch off their engines while stationary

The no-idling campaign highlights the impact of pollution on health and encourages drivers to switch off their engines when stationary for more than minute through a series of radio and poster adverts. According to TfL, this can help to reduce the emission of pollutants such as PM10 and NOx, and reduce fuel consumption.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I am introducing a range of robust measures to tackle pollution.

“Drivers can play their part too by taking time to switch off when stationary. This can save money off costly fuel bills as well as make our city a cleaner place to live and work.”

Research suggests engine idling is a significant contributor to pollution in London and TfL estimates that 59% of drivers parking or loading at the side of the road in central London leave their engines idling unnecessarily.


Modelling has shown that if all drivers in central London switched off their engines rather than leaving them idling unnecessarily, for one minute each day, this could reduce PM10 emissions by around 290g per day or at least 90kg per year.

Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s chief operating officer for surface transport, said: “We have been working hard to improve quality in London and are pleased to launch the second phase of our engine idling campaign as part of the Clean Air Fund measures.

“We are working with our bus operators and other transport organisations, such as the Confederation of Passenger Transport and the Freight Transport Association, to reduce unnecessary engine idling in London.”


The ‘Cleaner Air 4 Schools’ project, developed in partnership with the London Sustainability Exchange (LSx), has been working with three schools around Marylebone Road, an area with high pollution levels, to develop an air quality education ‘toolkit’ which is now available to all schools in the capital.

The toolkit contains a number of activities and resources to encourage practical measures to improve local air quality around schools by working with staff, pupils and parents.

Results from the project’s pilot have shown that participating schools saw a reduction in travel by car, an increase in cycling and a small increase in the use of public transport for journeys to and from school.

Samantha Heath, chief executive of London Sustainability Exchange, said: “Air pollution causes the equivalent of around 4,300 premature deaths in London.

“The pilot project has demonstrated the importance of educating people on air quality issues and the impact that it can have.

“We are proud to be part of this project and hope London schools find the Cleaner Air 4 Schools toolkit useful, and that those using it can get a better understanding of the small changes they can do to make a difference.”

Health and transport organisations such as Asthma UK, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), and the Freight Transport Association (FTA) have also voiced their support for the campaign.

Related Links

Transport for London

London Sustainability Exchange


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