Schools, businesses, community groups and visitors have committed to improving Richmond’s air quality by turning off their vehicle’s engine when able to.

Over 1,000 people have now signed an "idle-free pledge" as part of the council's campaign, which launched at the start of the year.

This has involved raising awareness of the dangers of idling, setting up the pledge, idling action days, sending education packs and anti-idling banners to schools, and the introduction of warnings and fines for drivers.

The first phase of the campaign has seen 45 schools and 20 businesses sign the idle-free borough pledge.

Air quality officers have issued nearly 5,900 warnings to drivers and 1 fine.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Committee, said: “Children are one of the groups most vulnerable to poor air quality and I hope that more local businesses and schools will join us in the next stage of the campaign.

“Ultimately, poor air quality is harming our residents and we are asking those who drive in our borough to help us to keep emissions to a minimum.

“We need all of our community to play a role in improving our environment.

"So, sign the pledge and start turning of your engines.”

As is the case with other London councils, £20 penalties are only issued when drivers refuse to turn off their engines when told to do so by an enforcement officer.

Idling cars produce the equivalent of up to 150 balloons of harmful exhaust emissions every minute.

More information can be found here.