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Switching off for every stop

As children return to the classroom this week following the Easter break, parents that need to use the car for the school run are reminded of the importance of switching off their engines even for quick stops.

The council is continuing to back ‘Engines off for every stop’ campaign in tackling engine idling as a source of avoidable air pollution.

The campaign has been visiting local schools in the borough over the last few months to spread the message about how switching off car engines when making even a small stop around the school gate can make a difference to local air quality and the wellbeing of pupils.

Air quality lessons and anti-idling workshops have been taking place in schools such as Hambrough Primary, where pupils and TfL’s Stars Junior Travel Ambassadors had a go at encouraging drivers near their school to turn their engines off, as you can see in the video above.

The best way to avoid causing air pollution is to leave the car at home and incorporate walking, scooting or cycling into your child’s trips to and from the school gates.

Not only is it a great way of cutting down on harmful emissions and helping improve local air quality, but it is also great exercise and is proven to increase physical and mental wellbeing of both parents and children.

If driving your child to school is necessary, then cutting down the time spent with your engine running whilst stationary is a simple step which can minimise unnecessary pollution.

Even a small vehicle running on petrol, while idling, emits an average of more than 19 grams of CO2 a minute. It all adds up to a polluting cocktail filling the air we breathe.

For example, in one day, if half of all cars in London idled at a set of traffic lights for just one minute, nearly 30,000 kg of CO2 would be released – that is a weight of 10 HGV lorries or 30 African elephants.

This simple action of switching off at every stop cuts the amount of harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) building up on local streets. In the long term it could help reduce the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular health conditions in both children and adults across the borough.

Visit the council’s website for full information on the council’s climate action strategy, as well as support to help get involved with cycling and activities your child’s school can organise. Parents can map out the least polluted route to walk/or cycle with Ealing Air.

Check the Around Ealing website for up-to-date news from around the borough.

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