No idling here please - drivers switch off for cleaner air

Published: Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Drivers leaving their engines running whilst parked in Havering were encouraged to turn them off during two anti-idling action days recently.

action days around air quality
Cllr Viddy Persaud, Havering's Cabinet Member for Public Protection & Safety, joined volunteers at the recent action days in Harold Hill & Upminster

Councillor Viddy Persaud, Havering’s cabinet Member for Public Protection and Safety, joined officers from the Council’s public protection teams along with community volunteers and parents from Hilldene Primary School, Grange Road and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Upminster.

During the two days, they spoke with over 60 drivers overall outside the schools, 16 of whom had been idling and switched off their engines when asked.

They also stopped passers-by to give information out about the damaging effect that idling engines have on the quality of air we breathe.

Councillor Viddy Persaud, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Safety, said:

“These days of action are to raise awareness of the negative effect caused by people leaving their engines running while stationary in their cars.

 “Those of us who drive have all done this at one time or the other and it is just about remembering that if you are stopping for a minute or more, don’t idle, turn your engine off.

“As a Council, we are currently looking at ways in which we can look to replace some of our current transport with a more environmentally-friendly fleet as part our Air Quality Action Plan, so we can play our part as well. “

The day of action is part of the Idling Action project, which sees a host of boroughs holding awareness days to promote anti-idling and getting messages out to schools, businesses and delivering training to its own staff about the effects of air pollution.

Havering’s Air Quality Action Plan 2018 - 2023, will see the Council look to carry out action to help improve air quality across the borough, especially in hotspots.

It includes:

  • Focusing on opportunities to improve the quality of air in hotspots identified in the borough
  • Ensuring Havering continues to be a greener borough
  • Planting shrubbery and trees that contain particles to help reduce pollution in busy traffic areas and help enhance the quality of air
  • To continue to lobby for the provision of better transport links and improved connections across the borough.