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Harrogate drivers urged to switch off engines in new "No Idling" campaign

Harrogate traffic

Published by Lizzy McEllan at 6:30am 11th March 2019.

A 'No Idling' campaign has been launched in Harrogate, urging drivers to switch off their engines in traffic and when parked.

  • The 'No Idling' campaign is raising awareness of the pollution dangers from idling car engines - did you know you're exposed to a higher levels inside your car than on the street?
  • Children are more at risk - parents are being urged to stop idling outside schools
  • It's also cheaper to switch off your engine - just ten seconds of idling costs more in fuel than restarting your car
  • Idling is illegal - some councils have already started issuing on-the-spot fines

The campaign is raising awareness of dangerous levels of pollution in cars.

Jemima Parker, chair of Zero Carbon Harrogate, running the campaign, said:

"In the car, you're exposed to a higher level of pollution than the pedestrians and cyclists outside, because your heating system sucks up the fumes from the car in front."

The campaign is keen to target parents because children are at greater risk from pollution than adults.

Vicky Wild, who's leading the 'No Idling' campaign, said:

"Instead of thinking about your car as your own personal safe space - we want people to realise that idling does have a consequence.

"Cars are not the safe space you think they are - they have a danger attached to them."

"Because children are still developing and growing, the pollution has a much worse effect on them.

"Studies show asthma and various lung conditions are much worse in areas of high pollution."

The Harrogate District has several places where air quality has become unsafe.

Known as Air Quality Management Areas, these hot spots are Bond End and York Place in Knaresborough, Wetherby Road in Harrogate, and High and Low Skellgate in Ripon.

The single worst place in the district is on Station Parade in Harrogate, near the bus station and taxi rank.

But switching off your engine isn't just beneficial for your health, it also saves money.

Idling for two minutes uses the same amount of fuel as driving one mile - leaving your engine running for just 10 seconds costs more than restarting it.

It's also illegal to leave your engine idling, which is common around schools.

Jemima added:

"Under the HighwayCode, it is illegal to sit with your engine idling, and it would be great if we could have some additional support from Harrogatecouncil to enforce that."

Councils across the UK have started issuing on-the-spot £20 fines for the offence, including York City Council, which has just approved plans to replicate this type of enforcement.

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