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Switch Off Campaign

Poor air quality is a major health concern and the main source of air pollution is road transport. Idling engines contribute to carbon emissions and local air pollution, which is harmful to health and to the environment. 


In 2019, supported by Harrogate Borough Council and Harrogate Rotary, we launched a campaign to encourage drivers to switch off when idling. We asked drivers to pledge their support by placing "I'm no idler" stickers in the back window of their vehicles.


Please remember, if you are parked for one minute, switch off to help improve local air quality and reduce emissions.

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“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? People will give many reasons but most are not valid as our myth busters show....

Surely it’s better to idle because stopping and starting will wear out the engine? This is no longer a problem with modern engines. In fact, incomplete combustion due to engine idling dirties your engine, increases wear and tear and wastes fuel.

Starting and stopping my engine frequently will cause more pollution than just letting it run. Actually, turning off an engine and then restarting after a minute will cause less pollution than letting it run and also uses less fuel.

Letting a car idle on a cold day is a good way to warm it up. The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. Even modern diesel engines don’t need more than a few minutes to warm up in cold weather.


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

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

More Facts....

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

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

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


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

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