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London taxi and private hire firms urged to help cut idling pollution on the road

31 Jan 2019

Deliveroo first to back council pledge to cut engine idling  

Deliveroo, a company that works with thousands of riders in the capital, has agreed to support #DontBeIdle to urge drivers not to idle their engines at the side of the road.

This comes as the council has written to more than 20 business leaders from some of London’s top freight, delivery, coach, taxi and private hire companies this week, asking for support given delivery drivers and commercial vehicles make up a large proportion of idling drivers.

Research shows that an average vehicle idling produces enough exhaust emissions containing harmful chemicals every minute to fill 150 balloons, and vehicles such as buses, taxis, vans, cars and delivery vehicles account for more than half of the deadliest emissions in the air. The impact if poor air quality on the health can be significant, especially for children with pollution linked to 40,000 deaths nationally each year.

Westminster City Council Leader Nickie Aiken said: “We have to get the message out there, turning off your engine can save lives. So having the support of Deliveroo is fantastic, as with their support we can spread the message further and help cut pollution in our city.

“Our #DontBeIdle campaign is really sparking the imagination of people in the city and I’d urge other businesses to get involved. Poor air quality is our residents’ number one concern and so we’re leading the way to tackle this issue.”

In just over a year more than 10,000 people have signed a pledge not to engine idle and to spread the message.

The council’s team of dedicated air marshals have had more than 20,000 conversations with people in the city convincing them to switch off their engines when stationary at the side of the road. The team has also held engagement days, visited schools, spoken to parents and even gained the support of celebrities.

The focus of the campaign in now on those most likely to idle – professional drivers – supporting them to switch off their engines while waiting at the side of the road in a bid to further help cut pollution in London. The council is also offering advice and guidance to businesses who pledge their support.

Dan Warne, UK Managing Director of Deliveroo, said: “Deliveroo is delighted to support this campaign, working with our riders to make small changes that together result in big improvements for all residents.

“Deliveroo riders are on the capital’s roads delivering amazing meals every single day and will be some of the biggest beneficiaries from improving air quality across London. This is a great initiative from Westminster City Council and we look forward to supporting initiatives like this across the city.”  

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