Campaign for clean air outside Eastbourne schools is launched

The anti-idling campaign launch at Canvendish School SUS-190313-121325001
The anti-idling campaign launch at Canvendish School SUS-190313-121325001

A campaign encouraging drivers to switch off their engine while dropping off children at school and improve air quality has been launched by Eastbourne council.

Schools across Eastbourne are being invited to sign up to the anti-idling campaign. Those that do will receive digital information packs to send out to parents and pupils giving them the opportunity to find out more about air pollution and ways to reduce it.

The council says that for every minute a vehicle idles, it could fill 150 balloons with toxic chemicals.

The council’s Jonathan Dow said, “Air pollution is a major environmental risk to everyone’s health but in particular it’s a concern for children, as it can stunt lung growth and affect lung capacity. We want to educate drivers about how air pollution affects health so that they change their habits to always switch engines off while stationary.

The first school to sign up to the council campaign is Cavendish School.

Headteacher Peter Marchant said, “This is a great initiative and we hope everyone takes notice of what is being said. Leaving an engine running while waiting in the car is an unnecessary source of air pollution, and combatting this outside schools is especially important because there are potentially a high number of idling vehicle engines here at drop-off and pick-up times.”

The scheme is part of the council’s ongoing work to raise air quality awareness in partnership with East Sussex County Council, Sussex-air and Public Health England.

Idling facts

Turning the engine OFF and restarting it after 1 minute causes LESS pollution & uses LESS fuel than keeping the engine running

Modern batteries need less engine running time to stay charged

Idling an engine will not keep a catalytic converter warm. They retain heat for approximately 25 minutes after the engine is switched off

It takes up to an hour for an engine to cool down. Turning off the engine but keeping the ignition & the fan blowing will provide warm air for sometime

What can drivers do?

Switch off when picking up or dropping off children from school

Switch off when waiting to pick up passengers

Switch off when delivering, loading or waiting at the roadside

Switch off when sitting in traffic or at level crossings

Any schools wishing to sign up should contact Melissa.bomford@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk