Barking and Dagenham Council is joining a new London-wide campaign encouraging businesses to help tackle air pollution by turning their vehicle engines off when not moving.
The Idling Action Project, jointly led by Camden Council and City of London Corporation, and supported by the Mayor of London, has been running since 2016. It sees Barking and Dagenham Council and 30 other London councils joining forces in a bid to cut dangerous vehicle emissions.
The renewed call for action comes following emerging evidence that air pollution is linked to poor recovery and higher infection rates of Covid-19 due to damage caused to the lungs.
Idling Action’s #enginesoff campaign, which is running from today, Monday 2 August to Friday 6 August, asks businesses to pledge that their drivers and other employees will not leave their engines on when stationary, such as waiting at a shop, waiting for a friend or sitting in back-to-back traffic.
To show its commitment to the campaign, Barking and Dagenham Council has been working with its own drivers and through training, encouraging them to turn council vehicle engines off when they’re stationary for a prolonged period of time.
Encouraging drivers to turn their engines off while stationary is just one part of the council’s ambitious plans to push a green agenda, and next week Leader of the Council, Darren Rodwell will host a special Q&A session for residents on the topic of the global and local environmental challenge. He will be joined by Ruth Davis MBE, who is a government advisor on green issues. During the online Q&A Cllr Rodwell and Ruth will discuss all things climate change from freak weather to toxic air, and what we can all do individually to help combat it. The session will take place at 6pm, this Thursday (5 August) on the Leader’s facebook page and residents are invited to join in the conversation.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “Climate change, air pollution and the environment in general is something that we all should be discussing right now. In recent weeks, locally, we have seen extreme severe weather due to climate change, from a tornado to a heatwave to a monsoon.
“We all need to work together to ensure we’re doing everything we can to improve the environment and improve air quality. Little things like turning your engines off while you’re not moving will make a difference.”
Councillor Andrew Achilleos, Member Champion for Climate Change added: “We all have a part to play in reducing air pollution across Barking and Dagenham. It might sound like a small thing, but turning your engines off while not moving will go a long way to help us achieve our goal of a greener and healthier borough. Helping out in this way will make sure that people who live and work across Barking and Dagenham are breathing in cleaner air.”
As part of the #enginesoff pledge, Idling Action is offering drivers free training and providing a toolkit of resources to businesses, whose operations involve vehicle fleets, professional drivers, or employees who travel to work by car.
To find out more about the #enginesoff campaign, businesses and residents should head to www.idlingaction.london.