Air pollution is the biggest environmental risk to health. A recent report from The Lancet Commission on pollution and health (2017), estimates that within the UK, air pollution is linked to 50,000 deaths each year.
Air pollution contributes to an increased chance of developing lung cancer, increased risk of heart disease and increases in asthma, coughs and bronchitis.
Keeping the engine running while stuck in traffic or waiting to collect someone contributes to an increase of air pollutant levels. Schools, hospitals and bus stops in particular are hotspots, as:
- Idling is more likely to happen at those locations
- They have sensitive age groups, such as children and older people
We are running an Anti-idling Campaign with the aim of educating people about air pollution and promoting clean travel behaviours, in partnership with Oxford Friends of the Earth. The campaign will be targeted at schools primarily with the aim of educating children and parents about the dangers of air pollution and advise them to turn their engines off when stationary and adopting sustainable travel behaviours including walking, cycling and public transport.
Drivers in Oxford can make some simple changes to improve air quality in the city:
- Switch off when waiting or stuck in a jam
- Switch to cycling or walking for local trips
- Switch to a bus or train when you can for longer journeys
If you are a school in Oxford and have recurrent problems with Idling during drop off/pick up periods, please contact us directly (AirQuality@oxford.gov.uk) and we will be able to help you run an event at your school.