Clean air campaign launches outside Eastbourne schools

The anti-idling campaign launch at Cavendish School

Eastbourne Borough Council has launched a campaign encouraging drivers to switch off their engine while dropping off children at school and improve air quality.

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.

For every minute a vehicle idles, it could fill 150 balloons with toxic chemicals, according to Eastbourne Borough Council.

Councillor Jonathan Dow, Cabinet Member for Place Services, 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 was 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 combating 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 information:

Turning the engine OFF and restarting it after one minute causes LESS pollution and 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 and the fan blowing will provide warm air for some time.

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 can contact [email protected]