Young artists urge drivers to 'Switch Off' at level crossings

Release Date: 03 May 2017

Three signs designed by young people in the borough will be displayed at level crossings warning cars not to leave their engines ‘idling’ as they wait.

Over the past few months, children from three schools south of the river have been busy designing potential signs to be displayed near the level crossings in Manor Road, Sheen Lane, White Hart Lane and Vine Road.

As part of the Council’s ‘Switch off your Engine’ campaign, the signs will be displayed to encourage drivers to turn off their car engines if they intend to remain stationary in their vehicles. Research has found that idling cars emit an unnecessary harmful fog of nitrogen dioxide, which pollutes the local area and damages the health of local residents and pedestrians.

Yesterday was National Air Quality Day, and a design was chosen from each school to be displayed. The winning artists will receive a replica of their sign, as well as a £20 book and stationary vouchers.

The winning designs were by:

  • Iris Hughes Smith -Year 1 from Barnes Primary School
  • William Sawtell -Year 4 from East Sheen Primary School
  • Sophie Fisher and Tadhg Fahy -Year 5 from St Mary Magdalen’s RC Primary School

Cllr David Linnette, Mayor of Richmond upon Thames, said:

“What talented and environmentally minded young people we have in Richmond! Leaving an engine running unnecessarily whilst a vehicle is stationary, pollutes the air we breathe and causes unnecessary noise. Switching off your engine at level crossings is an easy way to help improve air quality and the health of people.

“These signs will be installed shortly, and I urge drivers to take note of what the future generation has to say.”

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: P199/17

Updated: 31 May 2017