Drivers in South Kesteven asked to turn off engines to help improve air quality

Drivers are being asked to turn off their engines when waiting in traffic.
Drivers are being asked to turn off their engines when waiting in traffic.

Drivers are being asked to turn off their engines if they are likely to be waiting in traffic for more than a minute.

South Kesteven District Council is asking drivers ‘to be smart’ and turn off their engines to help improve air quality in the area.

The council says when stationary, loading or waiting at the roadside motorists can help improve the air by not idling their engines. Running your engine unnecessarily while stationary pollutes the environment and turning off and restarting an engine causes less pollution than keeping the engine running.

A council spokesman also said by turning off engines this will also have a good effect on health for all to help to reduce heart disease, asthma and lung cancer associated with polluted air to those who breathe in fumes next to roads and highways.

It is estimated idling costs drivers up to £53 a year through wasting fuel and money while increasing wear and tear on engines and adding to repair bills.

Leaflets are now being distributed by the council to drivers around the district explaining further the need to switch engines off. The information can also be found at www.southkesteven.gov.uk/airquality.

Numerous studies have indicated that vehicle emissions contribute significant amounts of airborne pollutants, which have a detrimental effect on human health.

An idling engine can produce up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion and contain a range of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter or soot.

SKDC’s Executive Manager for Environment Ian Yates said: “You can contribute as a driver by switching off your engine if it looks like you could be waiting for more than a minute.

“Modern cars use virtually no extra fuel when they’re re-started without pressing the accelerator so you won’t waste lots of fuel switching the engine back on.

“So be smart and stop/start your engine when stationary in traffic.”