Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is backing the council campaign to ask drivers to turn their car engines off when stopped and improve air quality in the borough.
Richmond Council is asking drivers to make Richmond upon Thames an ‘Idle free borough’ in 2019 and beyond. They are being asked to turn their vehicle’s engines off when stopped, particularly at level crossings, outside schools and in town centres.
Dr Graham Lewis, Chair, Richmond CCG, said: “It is vital we all do everything we can to improve air quality and save lives in the borough. The Royal College of Physicians has reported that around 40,000 deaths in the United Kingdom are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution, and have linked it to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Children, are often most at-risk for the dangers of air pollution so it is particularly important to turn your car engine off when you can near our local schools.”
Car idling produces up to 150 balloons of harmful exhaust emissions per minute, wastes half a gallon of fuel an hour.
Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Cabinet Member for Transport, Streetscene and Air Quality said:
“It’s our ambition to make this borough a leader in the crucial fight to improve air quality in London. One of the biggest contributors to poor air quality is the harmful emissions produced by drivers leaving their engines running whilst stopped for lengthy periods. From March, Richmond Council will be giving parking enforcement officers the powers to fine those who refuse to turn off their engines when asked.”