Please join other responsible drivers in Petersfield, switch off your engine when stationary, and share this message with others.

Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. Public Health England attributes between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths per year to long-term exposure to air pollution. The main sources of man-made particulate matter are combustion of fuels (by vehicles, industry and domestic properties) and other physical processes such as tyre and brake wear. 80% of nitrogen oxides are due to transport.

An idling engine can produce up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion. Exhaust emissions contain a range of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter. These affect the quality of the surrounding environment and the air we breathe.

It is also against the law to leave an engine idling on a public road (Road Traffic Regulations 2002). 

The best way to improve air quality is to leave the car at home and walk or cycle, if you can. If you have to drive, avoiding leaving your engine idling can make a big difference.


Here are some interesting talking points:

Idling doesn't put out a lot of pollution

An idling engine can produce up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion. An idling car can fill up to 150 balloons with harmful emissions every minute. Switching off your engine can go a long way to improving air quality.

Leaving your car running is cheaper than turning it off and on again

It is cheaper to turn off your engine. Sitting in your car with your engine running could cost you more than you think. Between 5% and 8% of fuel use occurs while idling.

It's better to be inside the car than out of it - it protects me from the fumes

The air quality inside the car can be up to twice as bad outside the car, and is even worse in winter. 

I need to keep the engine running to keep the heater on

If you park and keep the ignition on, rather than turning the car off completely, the heater should stay warm for up to 30 minutes. 

It's not illegal to idle

It is illegal. Leaving a vehicle's engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road could get you a fine of £20 or even £80 in air quality management areas.

Idling doesn't damage people's health

Vehicles idling can put as much as twice as much pollutants as a car in motion. Reducing air pollution can help cut heart disease, reduce lung cancer and prevent asthma cases. Up to 160,000 deaths a year are related to poor air quality.