The ‘Engines Off’ campaign, run by the Idling Action Project, seeks to educate drivers and change behaviours around car idling. Yet new measures in the borough have seen congestion increase as cars are held back by badly implemented schemes such as the new Highbury Corner layout and now the restriction of through routes.
The campaign comes amidst emerging evidence that air pollution is linked to poor recovery and higher infection rates of Covid-19 due to damage caused to the lungs.
But this new evidence is of no concern to Islington Council who are blocking residential side roads forcing traffic to be in greater concentration on main roads such as Upper Street and Essex Road.
Hypocritically, Islington Council has joined forces with 29 other London authorities, and the worst culprit of contrived pollution, the City of London Corporation, to sign up to the Engines Off campaign, which asks businesses to pledge that their drivers and other employees will not leave their engines on when parked.
That’s if you can find a parking space as they also appear to be disappearing at a rate of knots.
As part of the initiative, Islington’s own fleet of council vehicles will be taking the pledge and will receive driver training.
Is this just a knee jerk reaction from the council who are embarrassed by the rise in pollution due to their latest batch of road closures, or just another case of don’t do as I do, do as I say.
The main problem is that councillors and council planners don’t appear to understand that if you remove traffic from one street, the pollution doesn’t disappear, you just move it to another street making that street’s air quality even worse.
It’s as if someone at the council comes up with an idea that sounds good, no one bothers to investigate cause or effect, but as it sounds good they just do it
I spent the day today walking around the borough, and although I saw heavily congested main roads, I never saw one vehicle delivering goods or services with their engine left running... it’s a problem that just doesn’t exist.
Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Air pollution is a major health emergency affecting people in Islington and across London.... If that’s the case, why is she sanctioning schemes that will make air quality in the borough worse???