By christabelwatts - posted on September 24, 2018

No Idling Campaign 2018

Working with partners Southampton City Council and Global Action Plan (GAP) we organised and delivered no-idling events across Southampton between February and September. We had a supportive response to the campaign and our experiences of engaging with drivers on the street were positive and effective.

We ran events in the city centre, outside schools, with bus drivers, and at the port and ferry terminal. In total we achieved:

  • 45 Air Quality Champions trained and supported
  • 275 drivers engaged
  • 89.8% of drivers switched off their engines
  • 105 pledges to not idle in the future
  • 190 promotional materials distributed to the public
  • social media posts reached 60,265 and had 2,067 engagements
  • campaign advertised on local radio, TV and newspapers
  • 4 billboards over 8 weeks, as well as poster boards and electronic road signs

Air Quality Champions were fully trained in approaching and chatting to drivers in a friendly, informative and non-judgmental way to persuade them of the benefits of not idling. Our approach was to invite drivers to join the campaign and switch off their engines when stationary, as many drivers do not realise that idling is bad for air pollution and their health, and often believe some common idling myths. Several drivers mentioned having seen posters about the campaign and hearing about it on the radio too.

For more information and to register your interest in becoming an Air Quality Champion, please email We can then let you know about upcoming dates for training and events.

No-Idling myth-busting

  • Idling is a significant contributor to local air pollution. It is less polluting to turn your engine off and restart it after a minute or longer than to leave your engine running.
  • Modern batteries need less engine running time to work and don’t need the engine on constantly to keep them charged.
  • Idling dirties your engine with incomplete combustion increasing wear and tear. Maintaining your vehicle is important for preventing breakdowns and reducing air pollution. Modern cars have much better ignitions and can be turned on and off without unnecessary wear on the engine.
  • Catalytic converters retain their heat for about 25 minutes after an engine is switched off. You don’t need to keep the engine switched on for them to work properly.
  • It can take up to an hour for an engine to cool down. Turning off your engine but keeping the ignition on and the fan blowing will provide warm air for some time.
  • Over 50% of Particulate Matter (PM) in cities can come from taxis and cars.
  • Walking or cycling on roads with less traffic can reduce your exposure to air pollutants by 50% or even more.

YOU are the key to cleaner air!

No-idling myth-busting facts from our partners at Global Action Plan (GAP).