Volunteers needed to help educate local drivers about air quality

Release Date: 25 January 2018

Volunteers are urgently needed to join a series of local ‘Idling Action’ days, educating parents, carers and motorists of the dangers to air quality when leaving their car engines idling on the school run, outside shops, at level crossings or anywhere when parked for a minute or more.

The Council has received funding from Mayor of London to join the National Idling Action campaign and hold a number of community ‘action’ events.

Volunteers will work with council officers and local schools to engage with idling drivers and passers-by about the effects of idling cars on local air quality, particularly when parents drop their children off at school or pick them up or stop at level crossings. The volunteer teams will invite drivers to join the campaign and switch off their engines when not moving. Volunteers will receive full training.

Previous action days elsewhere in the country have shown the over 80% of drivers switch off when asked by the volunteers and most pledge to give up idling for good.

At the same time, participating schools will deliver presentations, games and activities to educate children on air quality issues.

Over the next few months, events will be held around the borough.

The first event is to be held in East Sheen on the afternoon of Wednesday 7 February 2018.

Following events will be held at Holy Trinity Primary School on Wednesday 21 February 2018 from 2 to 4.30pm to cover the area around the school and Manor Road level crossing.

Then on Wednesday 7 March an event will be held outside Hampton High from 2 to 4.30pm to cover the area along Hanworth Rd.

Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

“Air pollution is a serious health risk to our borough, and it is imperative that those who drive to, or through, our borough help us to keep those emissions to a minimum.

“We can’t do this alone. We need everyone to play their part and take personal responsibility for our environment. That means we need drivers to turn their engines off when they are not moving.

“These action days are another of the proactive and innovative ways we’re exploring to change people’s behaviour and help us become the greenest borough in London.

“I hope that we can put together a big group of volunteers to help educate drivers to change their behaviour.”

If you are interested in volunteering email Carol.Lee@richmond.gov.uk

Find out more information about Idling Action

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159. 

Reference: P041/18

Updated: 13 February 2018