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Air Quality

What schools can do to promote air quality.

Schemes such as Home Run have already been taken up by schools in Wiltshire and other schools are encouraged to look at this as a way of generating smarter trips to school and reducing air pollution. 

Subject to resources the Environmental Control and Protection Team could come and talk to some schools about their work in Wiltshire with Air Pollution.

The Environmental Control and Protection Team are able to signpost schools to techniques that they may wish to employ in monitoring their own air quality e.g. diffusion tubes. Further details of providers of such services and their costs can be obtained from Public Protection.

Please contact:

For further information:    

Know and Respond

is a free service for selected groups of individuals in the Wiltshire area. The service is provided for targeted individuals wishing to know about the quality of the air they breathe

No Idling

The school community needs to be aware that the simple measure of switching off your engine when stationary for more than 30 seconds can bring about positive effects upon the air quality around schools at arrival and leaving times for all school users and the immediate roadside locality.

This could be promoted by School Councils as an easy way to make air quality improvements at school and responsible driver practices for what is often taken for granted.

Some local authorities have produced toolkits for their schools to use and this may be something that some Wiltshire schools may wish to develop for themselves.

No idling schools toolkit (Brent Council)

No idling toolkit (Clean Air Day)

No idling toolkit for schools (Green Schools Ireland)  

Idling FAQs

Q1 Does starting an engine cause more pollution than idling?

A1 No. Turning off an engine and restarting it after a minute or two (or longer) causes less pollution than keeping the engine idling and uses less fuel. 

Q2 Does the engine need to stay on to keep the battery fully charged?

A2 No. Modern batteries need less engine running time. 

Q3 When it’s cold I need to keep my vehicle warm or warm up my engine

A3 It can take up to an hour for an engine to cool down. Turning off your engine, but keeping the ignition and the fan blowing will provide warm air for some time. If you are concerned about passenger comfort, keep the engine idling to an absolute minimum in warm and cold weather. 

Q4 Do catalytic converters need to be hot to work properly?

A4 Yes, but an idling engine does not keep a catalytic converter warm. They retain their heat for about 25 minutes after an engine is switched off anyway.