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‘Kill your engines not residents’ – Council gets tough on idling

Release Date: 25 January 2019

Drivers in Richmond upon Thames are being asked to help make this an idle-free borough and turn their vehicle’s engines off when stopped, particularly at level crossings, outside schools and in town centres. 

Councillors, children from Thomson House and Deer Park Schools, volunteers and guests gathered at Mortlake level crossing and in Richmond to launch the Council’s campaign to make Richmond upon Thames an idle free borough.

Car idling produces up to 150 balloons of harmful exhaust emissions per minute, wastes half a gallon of fuel an hour and is a major contributor to the 40,000 deaths a year linked to air pollution outlined by the Royal College of Physicians. From 1 March drivers caught idling who refuse to turn off their engines when asked will be fined £40.

Drivers stopped at the Mortlake level crossing were greeted by the borough’s very own anti-idling mime artist asking them to turn off their engines and handing out cards informing people about the borough’s anti idling efforts.

Meanwhile Richmond Station’s forecourt was awash with black balloons as volunteers spoke to commuters and pedestrians about the importance of anti-idling efforts.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Cabinet Member for Transport, Streetscene and Air Quality said:

“It’s our ambition to make this borough a leader in the crucial fight to improve air quality in London. That’s why we have been out asking drivers to join our efforts to make Richmond upon Thames an ‘Idle free borough’ in 2019 and beyond.

“One of the biggest contributors to poor air quality is the harmful emissions produced by drivers leaving their engines running whilst stopped for lengthy periods. From March, Richmond Council will be giving parking enforcement officers the powers to fine those who refuse to turn off their engines when asked.

“There is simply no reason for anyone to be idling their engine – whether stopped at level crossings, making deliveries or on the school run – the costs to everyone’s health is serious and avoidable.”

Pledge to not idle in our borough and show your support for an idle free Richmond upon Thames.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Lyle Skipsey on 020 8487 5182.

Reference: P021/19

Updated: 24 March 2021