Idling Action Campaign

Idling engines contribute to carbon emissions and local air pollution, which is harmful to health and to the environment.

Air Pollution and Idling

Poor air quality is a major health concern and the main source of air pollution is road transport.


Some vehicle journeys cannot be helped but leaving your engine running when parked (idling) creates unnecessary pollution. Putting a stop to idling is a simple way we can all help to clean up the air that we breathe.


If you would like to help reduce carbon emissions and improve local air quality, please switch off your engine if parked for more than a minute.

Remember, idling your engine unnecessarily is an offence and you could be fined.

“If more drivers knew the damage they could be doing to their children, I think they’d think twice about getting in the car.

Professor Sir David King, British Lung Foundation

​​Idling: the Myths and the Truth

Why do we idIe? Well people will give many reasons but most are not valide as our myth busters show.

Myth: If it’s cold outside, I need to keep the engine running to keep the heater on.

Buster: If you switch the engine off when you park and keep the ignition on, the heater should stay warm for up to 30 minutes.


Myth: If I’m parked on a yellow line, keeping my engine running means I won’t get a fine.
Buster: Traffic wardens can fine you if you are parked somewhere you shouldn’t be, whether your engine is running or not.

Myth: But surely it’s better to idle because stopping and starting will wear out the engine?
Buster: This is no longer a problem with modern engines.

Myth: But idling does not contribute very much to air pollution in the whole scheme of things.
Buster: Research has shown that idling engines can contribute to the level of air pollution in the street where the vehicle is parked.

More Facts

  • Did you know that pollution is greater inside a car than outside and children are at greater risk than adults.

  • Leaving your engine running for just 10 seconds costs more in fuel than restarting it.

  • Idling for two minutes uses the same amount of fuel as driving one mile.


So turning off your engine not only reduces pollution but also saves you money!

Pledge Your Support

Please show your support for our campaign by placing one of our 'I'm no idler' car stickers in the back window of your vehicle. You can get one free from the following shops in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

  • Harrogate Fair Trade Shop in St Peters Church Porch

  • Oxfam Books and Music, Harrogate

  • Natural Choice Health Food Shop, Knaresborough