Drivers who leave their engines idling are being targeted in a new campaign in the capital.

The ‘Engine Off, Every Stop’ campaign is being funded by the Mayor of London. Most noticeable will be the posters and billboards on roadside sites and petrol stations across the capital.

It follows similar campaigns over the past few years nationally. While ‘stop start’ features on newer cars are more common, most vehicles on the road don’t feature the option. However, switching off a warm engine while waiting at traffic lights, junctions or in traffic jams should be made the norm. This does not harm these vehicles or place any unnecessary stress on modern vehicle engines.

Mixed media

The project is taking place over four-weeks and includes radio adverts, videos and social media aimed at drivers. The bid to change behaviour highlights air pollution as an invisible killer and is part of ‘Idling Action London’. This brings together 30 London local authorities and the City of London Corporation in a drive to reduce roadside pollution.

“This campaign carries a very clear call to action for London’s drivers to safeguard public health”, says Keith Bottomley. He is the chair of the City of London Corporation’s environmental services committee, .

“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.”

Help at hand

As part of the project, businesses, residents, schools, and community groups can get involved by signing the Engines Off pledge . They can use free toolkits and other resources to help provide easy and practical steps for tackling the unnecessary habit of leaving engines idling.

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’.”