When a driver leaves the engine running and the vehicle is stationary, this is known as idling.
It is a needless act that contributes to air pollution. An idling engine can produce up to twice as many emissions as an engine in motion. As part of our 2017-22 Air Quality Action Plan, we are committed to raising awareness of idling and reducing emissions from idling.
We are part of the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund Idling Action Project. Along with other London councils, we are educating people about the dangerous pollution from idling, and we are running regular events to reduce this unnecessary source of pollution.
Idling is nearly always unnecessary and it’s a source of pollution. Idling is now a fineable offence across the whole of the borough. Lambeth have a team of officers that will ask drivers to switch off their engines if they notice them idling across the borough. A penalty notice may be issued if this request is not complied with.
Anti-idling events in schools
Since the beginning of 2019, the Sustainability Team have been running a series of successful anti-idling events in schools across the borough, engaging 17 schools and community groups, and a total of 480 children and adults. We are planning more events for the next Academic year
During the anti-idling event we discuss the impact of idling with children and we inspire them to reduce air pollution by playing games and activities. We also discuss clean air, climate change and sustainable modes of transport. At pick-up time sustainability officers and school staff talk to parents about clean air and encourage idling vehicles around the school to switch off when stationary.
Events with the local community
We run events in partnership with businesses and organisations. During the event, volunteers and Lambeth officers walk around idling hotspots, talk with drivers that are idling and stationary and ask them to switch their engines off. Volunteers are trained on how to approach vehicles safely and advise drivers respectfully.
Get involved! We can only improve Lambeth’s air quality by working together and playing our part. If your school, business or organisation is interested in running an anti-idling event, or if you are an individual that would like to participate in our events, please get in touch!