Anti-idling Demonstration Held at Acton Central Level Crossing

Motorists reminded to turn off their engines while waiting

Rupa Huq joined the demonstration on Churchfield Road
Rupa Huq joined the demonstration on Churchfield Road

June 15, 2023

A demonstration was held in Acton this weekend to raise awareness of the damage that idling vehicle engines can do to the environment.

Ealing Friends of the Earth was joined by the Friends of Friars Gardens, Churchfield Community Association and local MP Rupa Huq at the level crossing close to Acton Central station on Saturday (10 June).

Unlike the protests that have taken place recently by Just Stop Oil, the participants weren’t holding up traffic. That only happened as normal when the barrier was lowered. Drivers were approached and reminded to turn off their engines while waiting for the train to pass. Many had failed to spot or were ignoring the signs requesting them to do so. Drivers who had left their engines running got a leaflet while those that had switched off were offered a sweet.

The organisers say that the response from drivers was overwhelmingly positive with almost all happy to switch off their engines once the purpose of the demonstration was explained to them.

Motorists were given a leaflet explaining why they should switch off their engines

Ealing Friends of the Earth says, “Wouldn’t it be great if air pollution could just be ‘turned off’. Well sometimes it can! If you are stuck in a queue, idling your engine, then your car is pointlessly polluting the air as well as wasting fuel. And the pollution affects you as well as passers-by and local residents.

“Unfortunately, London’s air is pretty filthy, even if the pollution is not visible to the eye. The World Health Organization guidelines state that annual average concentrations of PM2.5 (particulate matter of 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter) should not exceed 5 µg/m3. We checked the level on Churchfield Road during the protest and got readings between 25 and 30 µg/m3. That’s five to six times over the WHO limit.

“Of course, not idling doesn’t stop all pollution – there’s a lot more to be done. We need to back all measures to clean up London’s toxic air ASAP. Waiting until we or loved ones develop serious lung diseases to start campaigning is not a good option.”

Nearly every motorist got the point of the demo according to the organisers

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