Keeping your engine running - the fact and fiction
Fiction - "Idling doesn't put out a lot of pollution"
Fact - An idling engine can produce up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion. An idling car can fill up to 150 balloons with harmful emissions every minute. Switching off your engine can go a long way to improving air quality.
Fiction - "Leaving your car running is cheaper than turning it off and on again"
Fact - It is cheaper to turn off your engine. Sitting in your car with your engine running could cost you more than you think. Between 5% and 8% of fuel use occurs while idling.
Fiction - "It's better to be inside the car than out of it - it protects me from the fumes"
Fact - The air quality inside the car can be up to twice as bad outside the car, and is even worse in Winter. Why not try walking or cycling on quieter routes?
Fiction - "I need to keep the engine running to keep the heater on"
Fact - If you park and keep the ignition on, rather than turning the car off completely, the heater should stay warm for up to 30 minutes.
Fiction - "It's not illegal to idle"
Fact - It is illegal. Leaving a vehicle's engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road could get you a fine of £20 or even £80 in air quality management areas.
Fiction - "Idling doesn't damage people's health"
Fact - Vehicles idling can put as much as twice as much pollutants as a car in motion. Reducing air pollution can help cut heart disease, reduce lung cancer and prevent asthma cases. Up to 160,000 deaths a year are related to poor air quality.
Poor air quality affects everyone - especially children. Remember to switch off your engine!