Brixton launch for new game plan to end idling engines

Written by on October 17, 2016 in Campaigns, Council, News, Traffic, Transport - 2 Comments

idling_750_dsc_3084Pupils from St. Helen’s RC Primary School near the heavily polluted Brixton Road joined Lambeth council environment and transport chief Jennifer Brathwaite in Windrush Square today to launch a London-wide clean air campaign.

Backed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, Let’s Clear The Air will encourage drivers to turn off their engines when they are not moving. There are nearly 10,000 early deaths from air pollution in the capital each year.

The campaign will see concerned residents and council staff taking to the streets after training to back the fight against air pollution in the borough.

Vehicle pollutants are linked to asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and cancer and idling is an offence under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002.

With funding from the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, 12 councils including Lambeth have banded together to encourage drivers to give up their idling habit.

Cllr Brathwaite joins pupils to point out the dangers of engine idling

Cllr Brathwaite joins pupils to point out the dangers of engine idling

Councillor Brathwaite, Lambeth council cabinet member for environment and transport, joined the pupils at a giant, air quality themed snakes and ladders board and air quality information stall.

The game helps children to learn about air pollution, engine idling and the effects they have on health.

The community volunteers will patrol the streets – focusing on idling hot spots, chatting to drivers who are idling and rewarding them with a mini version of the game if they switch off and pledge not to idle again.

They will also be giving people facts about air pollution, such as its role in stunting lung growth in children.

Councillor Braithwaite said: “We all have a responsibility to improve air quality in Lambeth. We should all walk and cycle more and avoid using cars whenever possible.

“Drivers should be aware of the air pollution they cause when idling and how it affects their health and the health of everyone around, especially children. A simple action such as switching off the engine when waiting to pick someone up or if you’re stuck in traffic, can go a long way in helping everyone, including children, to breathe better.”

Vehicle Idling Action events will be running for the next six months. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer find out more at: or Love Lambeth  or email

@idlingaction and #noidling.

About the Author

Alan Slingsby moved to Brixton just as the 1981 uprising began. His nearest pub was the Effra and nearest off licence the Frontline — long gone in an earlier wave of closures of treasured community establishments. He works out of an office in St Matthews and before that the Bon Marché. Has edited newspapers for the National Union of Students and National Union of Teachers. Now makes a living designing magazines and books and anything else people will pay him for.

2 Comments on "Brixton launch for new game plan to end idling engines"

  1. Richard October 17, 2016 at 6:22 pm · Reply

    Let’s hope it don’t snow this winter because your painted sign on the road surface will not be visible. How will drivers know the speed limit as 20mph, not that it makes one jot of difference anyway visible or not. Who thought of that bright idea for Tulse Hill?

  2. Richard October 17, 2016 at 6:18 pm · Reply

    It’s great getting youngsters involved in the environment and the relationship between pollutants and ill health and how to reduce pollution. However, Cllr Brathwaite, before going on to yet another transport initiative, ‘vehicle idling action’, why not sort out the last initiative Lambeth brought in back in April? Twenties Plenty. The 20mph speed limit on Lambeth’s roads is not enforced and is a complete joke here in Tulse Hill. All we got around here were painted 20 signs on the road surface. No other signs, no traffic calmimg measures, no enforcement, no camera’s. Please Councillor, get one initiative working well before moving onto the next it will stand a lot more credence with the electorate. There ain’t no twenties plenties in Tulse Hill, like I have said before more like thirties flirty, forties naughty and yes even fifties nifty. So much for 20mph, complete joke, some TFL buses don’t stick to it going down Tulse Hill so not much hope elsewhere.

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