Why I am Supporting the Council's #DontBeIdle Campaign

Today, I wrote to 20 separate company leaders that operate large vehicle fleets in London to call on them to pledge their public support to Westminster City Council’s #DontBeIdle campaign.

In Westminster, 58 per cent of harmful nitrogen dioxide emissions comes from road transport and a third of this comes from freight and servicing vehicles. HGVs and LGVs account for 12 per cent of nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Thousands of Londoners die prematurely as a result of poor air quality and recent medical and academic reports highlight new evidence that links living with prolonged poor air to increased risk of health conditions such as dementia and low birth weight in babies.

Accordingly, Westminster City Council is asking businesses with vehicle fleets using the city’s road network to commit to the #DontBeIdle campaign, persuading drivers to make the simple change of turning off their engines when idle, which has already received 10,000 pledges.

There are three ways businesses can get involved:

  • Promoting the ‘Don’t Be Idle’ campaign publicly and on their web page and social media channels.
  • Training its drivers to turn off their engines when their vehicles are idle (when this is possible).
  • Funding air quality marshals to help encourage drivers around schools and other hotspots to turn off their engines while parked up, or making deliveries or collecting passengers.

To curb the undeniable problems that arise from poor quality air, we must all do our part and change our habits. With this simple yet effective call from the Council, I hope we can convince some of our roads biggest polluters to stop engine idling and help us improve the air quality of our borough.

To learn more about the #DontBeIdle campaign please visit the Council's website here.