Environment group urges drivers to turn off idling engines

Croydon Friends of the Earth in South Norwood to raise awareness of their campaign to encourage drivers to switch off their car engines while in traffic. Photo: Picture Partnership

With poor air quality, parts of Croydon are among the worst places in London for cases of asthma, By PAUL LUSHION, environment correspondent

In one of those idle moments, when you are sitting in your car in traffic with the engine running, have you considered the damage you might be doing to the environment, or children’s lungs?

Croydon Friends of the Earth have launched a Clean Air for Kids campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the impact of exhaust emissions on young lungs.

“Air pollution affects us all and is one of the UK’s biggest killers causing up to 36,000 early deaths  every year,” said Leonie Osborne, the chair of Croydon FoE.

“Dirty air leads to worsening asthma symptoms and, according to Asthma UK, Croydon appears to be the worst place in London to have asthma.”

South Norwood, where the Clean Air for Kids campaign was launched, is typical of many parts of Croydon where air pollution builds in rush hour from engines idling while drivers queue at traffic lights and road works.

Leonie Osborne (right) and Sophia Gurung ask drivers in South Norwood to switch off their idling engines.       Pic: Picture Partnership

According to Croydon FoE, it is at times of the day when levels of the silent invisible killer nitrogen dioxide are highest – the morning and evening rush hours – it is young people who suffer most as they walk to and from their schools along narrow pavements, right next to queuing traffic.

Friends of the Earth are not just raising awareness of the impact of exhaust emissions, they are urging drivers to cut their emissions by switching off their engines at lights, in traffic jams or while waiting for more than 10 seconds.

“The lockdown has highlighted the fact that we all want the same thing – to enjoy fresh clean air and green spaces where children can play and where we can exercise and connect with nature,” Osborne said.

“Walk to School Week has highlighted the need for children to able to travel safely and healthily to school. So let’s stop idling, reduce carbon emissions and save lives!”


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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1 Response to Environment group urges drivers to turn off idling engines

  1. Sylwia Bryda says:

    Close more streets !!!!

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