A swarm of bees will land in Wallington high street on Saturday morning to demand reducing emissions by eliminating unnecessary car journeys and idling.
The bees, who are actually friendly rebels from Sutton’s Extinction Rebellion group, have been roused from their hive by the actions of a few inconsiderate drivers who leave their engines running while parked.
The actions of these few drivers have a major negative impact on Sutton borough’s air quality.
“It’s time for idling cars to buzz off,” according to one of the Sutton XR group.
The Mayor of London estimates that nearly 6,000 deaths are caused by air pollution in London. Globally, outdoor air pollution cuts three years from life expectancy. A 2016 study by Transport for London showed that drivers turning off their engines when parked can reduce “black carbon”, an exhaust pollutant linked to lung and heart disease, by up to 36 per cent.
Last year, the Wallington air quality monitoring station on Woodcote Road recorded NO2 levels above legal limits.
“Car travel is responsible for 25 per cent of CO2 emissions in Sutton and leaving your car’s engine running while parked – idling – is a major contributor to vehicle pollution and one that’s easily preventable,” said the XR spokesperson.
Eliminating idling is particularly crucial around Sutton’s schools. Children breathe in more of the poisonous exhaust fumes, leading to higher rates of childhood asthma and other breathing illnesses.
Drivers of idling cars are also unwittingly putting themselves in danger. When a car’s engine is left running while parked, the cabin fills with carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, two deadly gasses. Cutting the engine protects drivers and their passengers.
The XR spokesperson said, “Sutton residents can raise their concerns about air quality and other environmental issues during Sutton Council’s climate emergency consultations.”
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