A new London-wide advertising campaign has launched today encouraging drivers to turn off their engines when parked to cut air pollution.
Led by the City of London Corporation and Camden Council, and funded by the Mayor of London, the ‘Engine Off, Every Stop’ campaign features posters and billboards on roadside sites and petrol stations across the capital.
Drivers are also being reached with radio adverts, videos and social media, in a bid to change behaviour.
The four-week project highlights air pollution as an “invisible killer” and a dangerous daily reality for many Londoners.
Throughout the current national lockdown, journeys by motor vehicle have been strongly discouraged, unless they are essential for work, business or other valid reasons such as shopping for essentials.
The campaign, which is expected to reach over 8 million people across the capital, is part of Idling Action London, which sees 30 London local authorities and the City of London Corporation joining forces to drive down toxic air.
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, Keith Bottomley, said: “This campaign carries a very clear call to action for London’s drivers to safeguard public health.
“Air pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health with up to 36,000 people dying prematurely every year in the UK.
“Switching off when parked is one of the easiest ways to drive that number down.
“This simple change in behaviour will make a real positive difference. We need all of the capital’s drivers to play their part in ridding this city of toxic air and saving lives.”
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “Engine idling is completely unnecessary and threatens the health of anyone close by. Air pollution is not just a central London problem, which is why I’m glad London boroughs have joined this call to promote ‘Engine Off, Every Stop’.
“Supporting boroughs through the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund is just one of the ways I’m working to improve London’s air, including cleaning up London’s buses, tackling air pollution around schools and, in October this year, expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone up to the North and South Circular roads to cut pollution for millions more Londoners.”
Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden, said: “During the current lockdown, in which only essential journeys are allowed, lots of people have said just how much they enjoyed the quieter, low-traffic streets in London. We should learn from this and go further in protecting people’s health by cutting air pollution.
”This starts with cutting out avoidable pollution from engine idling. We are therefore calling on individuals and businesses to back our ‘Engine Off, Every Stop’ campaign and make a pledge to reduce emissions by avoiding engine idling wherever possible.”