Croydon Council is leading by example in tackling harmful emissions while supporting the annual London-wide Idling Action campaign.
The council is taking up the challenge this year by educating its own drivers to ensure that the internal fleet always switches off engines while stopped and end unnecessary idling of council vehicles.
The most troubling pollutant contributing to poor air quality in Croydon is nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and the largest contributor to high levels of NO2 is motor vehicles.
Croydon Council is tackling this through a wide range of measures, including air quality monitoring and enforcement at pollution hot spots.
During this academic year the council’s pollution team is carrying out air quality audits in 10 primary schools located in the most polluted areas in Croydon, and working with the schools to reduce pollution and minimise exposure. Measures include air quality workshops and awareness events for pupils and the wider community.
In the New Year, the council plans to re-start successful idling action patrols, where officers engage directly with drivers around schools and reduce incidences of engine idling.
Since 2017, Croydon has also introduced 26 school street schemes across the borough, limiting vehicle traffic around schools during the school run. This both reduces engine idling and encourages pupils to choose healthy travel options.
Another major contributor to poor air quality is construction activity, and Croydon continues to take action to reduce pollution through construction logistics planning and state-of-the-art monitoring. Last year, in central Croydon, the council reported a 42% decrease in fine dust particulate matter compared to 2016 – a direct result of our air pollution enforcement.
Croydon is also seeking to address pollution through planning conditions – last year, 185 developments were required to install low-emission boilers, reducing harmful nitrogen dioxide in newly built homes.
“Tackling air pollution is both a climate change and life-saving health priority, and Croydon is determined to continue working toward our low-emission future. As leaders meet in Glasgow to discuss the climate crisis, it’s great to be able to announce today that Croydon Council is taking up the Engine Off, Every Stop pledge within our fleet operations, and leading by example to reduce harmful emissions.”
Councillor Muhammad Ali, cabinet member for sustainable Croydon