Bridgwater Transport Forum, working with Bridgwater Town Council, is launching a campaign to encourage drivers to switch off their engines when their vehicle is stationary. A 2019 report linked 40,00 deaths each year to air pollution, and engine idling contributes to these deaths, by increasing exhaust fumes in the atmosphere, which contain carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. In Bridgwater town centre, on streets such as High Street, Eastover and St John Street, shop-keepers spend all day breathing in pollution from idling engines. This is dangerous and selfish and we need to persuade motorists to stop this practice.
Engine idling is already an offence in the UK and drivers can face fines if caught.
“Much better if we can raise awareness of the problem and persuade drivers to co-operate, rather than threaten them with fines”, says Eastover Town Councillor Glen Burrows, who is also Chair of the Transport Forum. “ Signs displayed in major trouble-spots would remind drivers to turn off their engines when stationary, instead of giving more work to police and local authorities in tracking down offenders.”
Somerset County Council has recently introduced a Climate Emergency Strategy, which aims to make Somerset a Carbon Neutral County by 2030. An end to engine idling would help towards making this a reality – please help al you can.