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TRL, a global centre for innovation in transport and mobility, is calling for all local UK authorities to replicate London’s Engine Off initiative in a bid to persuade changes of driver behaviour nationwide. As a new public advertising campaign launches encouraging all London drivers to turn off their engines when stationary, TRL is emphasising that air pollution is not only a problem in the capital.

The Idling Action London campaign uses data from a recent TRL study which highlighted the major problem faced in highly urbanised areas. TRL is advocating the use of its evidence-based approach by local authorities to nurture these initiatives and create new ones, using local real-world data as the basis for a consistent nationwide approach to changing driver behaviour.

Based on the TRL findings, in one day if 50% of all cars in London idled at a set of traffic lights for just one minute, nearly 30,000 kg of CO2 would be released. 

Richard Cuerden, Director of the TRL Academy, explains: “The TRL Idling Action Research represents the first time we’ve seen real world data and the first time such data has been deployed as part of a public awareness campaign. The findings are startling and significantly worse than previous estimates. We must act now to combat the spectre of air pollution from engine idling.”

He adds: “There is growing evidence from bodies including Public Heath England and the World Health Organisation that engine emissions and air pollution pose a grave threat to respiratory health. We must act now across the country to reverse the damage and improve the outlook for public health in the future.”

Established in 1933, TRL has more than 1,000 clients across 145 countries, driving positive societal and economic benefit worldwide.

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