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Mayor of London launches “no engine idling” campaign for drivers

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has launched a new campaign encouraging Londoners to turn off their engines when their vehicle is stationary for more than a minute. The campaign is part of a package of measures to improve air quality, cut harmful pollution and clean up the city ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Delivered by Transport for London (TfL), the new “no engine idling” campaign urges drivers of all vehicles to switch off their engines when they are parked or when picking up and dropping off people or goods, reducing the amount of unnecessary and harmful exhaust fumes emitted.

TfL undertook testing and research at Millbrook Proving Ground when developing this campaign; this showed that vehicle engines may be restarted repeatedly many times over without a discernible effect on the performance of the vehicle’s battery. The vehicles tested were able to withstand repeatedly being switched on and off over a hundred times in an hour with no loss of performance observed.

The campaign also highlights the health benefits of reducing pollution levels to both prevent and alleviate illnesses such as asthma and heart and lung conditions.

Leading health and transport organisations such as Asthma UK, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), and the Freight Transport Association (FTA) have voiced their support for the campaign.

The campaign is aimed at all drivers including those of cars, buses, coaches and taxis. Black cabs account for around a quarter of PM10 emissions in central London with up to 15% of that estimated to be as a result of taxi drivers leaving their engines idling when stationary.

Research commissioned by the Mayor’s office has suggested that poor air quality contributes to an equivalent of around 4,300 premature deaths in London in a year, with many people, especially children and older people, having their quality of life adversely impacted by it.

Implementing the measures in the Mayor’s strategy such as this new campaign is expected to reduce PM10 emissions in central London by about a third by 2015, compared to 2008 levels.



ICEVs, HEVs, PHEVs with stop-start (and all BEVs) would automatically meet this need.

John Hritz

These sorts of initiatives sound great, put are very costly to enforce. Raising the price of fuel is the easiest way to get people to stop idling. It's just not politically popular.


If the Europeans had actually implemented toxic cleanup regulations similar to the US, there would be no need for such useless exhortations. Such appeals are about as effective as exhorting all Cubans by Fidel, to go and assist in the sugar cane fields; or Mao advocating the peasants to create backyard blast furnaces, to make steel.

These stupid exhortation exercises would not be neccessary, as their Air Quality would be much cleaner. Instead they chose to bray about cleaning up; and not actually doing it.

Instead, the politicians sought to gain revenue by taxing fuel to no effect, except to force the choice of dirtier diesel fuel. The Euro politicians chose taxing relatively harmless CO2 to no effect, except to once again feed the ravenous maw of growing government.

Someday in 2016, Europe will finally join the effort to cleanse their Air, with the adoption of rudimentary EU VI toxic emission regulations. Then sometime in post 2030, they might actually adopt the next step, the regulations that the USA has been using for a decade and half, is using today, that improves the ambient air quality in the tailpipe to almost breathable status.

But before 2015, the USA is preparing to tighten further to the final endpoint regulation, requiring simply clean pristine air, making ICE emissions indistinguishable from EV emissions.

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