As part of an ongoing air quality project with the Public Protection team, schools across Barrow are raising awareness about idling cars to improve air quality and create a healthier environment for students, teachers and parents.
Furness Academy, St Pius X, Ramsden Infants and Newton Primary School have been encouraging parents to turn their engines off whilst they wait outside schools, in a bid to reduce engine emissions. The schools are hosting special assemblies, carrying our traffic surveys, asking drivers to take a no-idling pledge, talking to drivers outside schools with the Police and creating posts for social media and their parent apps to raise awareness and educate drivers about idling.
The ongoing air quality project has involved officers explaining the science around air pollution and how air quality is measured, installing diffusion tubes and considering the steps students can take to limit their exposure to car emissions.
Vehicle exhaust fumes are damaging to everyone’s health, but it especially affects children, who breathe more and at a faster rate than adults. By turning off engines, drivers can improve the quality of air students, parents and teachers breathe while they are at school. Public Health England estimates long-term exposure to particulate air pollution has ‘an effect equivalent to’ between 28,000 – 36,000 deaths a year in England. This makes air pollution the largest environmental risk linked to deaths every year.
An idling engine produces unnecessary pollution and can produce up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion. By not idling, drivers reduce the level of harmful emissions being released into the atmosphere and reduce their carbon footprint. Idling also costs more money, it is more fuel efficient to turn off your engine if you are going to be sitting more than 30 seconds and this will also reduce the wear and tear on your engine.