Drivers encouraged to switch off engines at level crossings

Train operator, Greater Anglia, is using Clean Air Day to remind drivers to switch off their engines at level crossings today.

An action day is being held at Westerfield level crossing in Suffolk, with leaflets handed out to drivers in a bid to reduce pollution there.

Station adopter volunteers at Westerfield – who work with Greater Anglia to improve their local station – and the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership hope to encourage car drivers to consider the houses and businesses adjacent to the level crossing and switch off to reduce pollution and noise.

An idling engine can produce up to twice the emissions of a car in motion, churning out sulphur dioxide, particulate matter and nitrogen oxide. All of these are thought to contribute to asthma, heart disease and even lung cancer and have a negative effect on the environment by contributing to poor air quality.

There are over 800 level crossings in East Anglia which are used by thousands of vehicles every day.

Just one car idling at a level crossing could fill up to150 balloons per minute with exhaust fumes.

Sandy Burn, who volunteers at Westerfield rail station as part of Greater Anglia’s Station Adoption initiative, said: ‘When you get a queue of cars and they are all running their engines on a small street surrounded by houses, it is extremely unpleasant in terms of the nasty fumes and the ‘It would be wonderful if people could take note of our campaign and be more considerate of those around them when they are sitting in traffic. It may not seem worth switching off the engine just for a few seconds, but I can assure them it really would make a huge difference.’

Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, Jamie Burles, said: ‘We are working really hard to become ever more sustainable – cutting our CO2 emissions by 22% between 2019 and 2021 in addition to already being the most environmentally friendly form of transport after cycling and walking – and signing up to the Department for Transport’s Sustainable Stations pledge.

‘I hope the communities we serve will see improvements as a result and hope that everyone who uses level crossings in the region will take note and help reduce air pollution even further.’

photo: Greater Anglia


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1 year ago

It’s usually more than a “few seconds” too. Should turning off the engine be obligtatory? And outside schools and clinics as well, please. We see taxis leaving their engines running outside our GP surgery while a disabled patient goes in.They say it’s because the person can’t walk the distance from & to the surgery car park which is a little way off and the don’t want to be accused of parking in a tight one-way lane. Of course, the exhaust fumes go straight into the surgery waiting room everytime the front doors open.Same at outpatients at our local hospital, but it’s ambulance exhaust mostly then.The sooner we stop the diesel the better.

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