Marlborough Town Council
 01672 512487 09:00-16:30 Mon-Fri

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Marlborough Town Council
01672 512487 
  E-mail us  5 High Street, Marlborough, SN8 1AA   Weekdays 10am-4pm

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Engine idling

{Play}Please switch off when your engine is idling

Leaving an engine ‘idling’ wastes fuel and money and increases the amount of exhaust fumes in the air.

Marlborough is a busy town with A-roads meeting in the town centre.  School and club entrances are close to houses, and many people live or work next to busy roads and shopping or other commercial areas.  

How many times have we all left our engines running while dropping off a parcel, waiting for the kids, or parked up to check our phones?

Every minute, an idling car produces enough toxic exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons.

Reducing emissions from idling vehicles can significantly contribute to a better environment for everyone – saving money and reducing noise, smells and toxic emissions.

 After receiving a plea from a resident about air quality in Marlborough after noticing the number of drivers who leave engines running in stationary vehicles next to the pavement in the High Street and at sport clubs while waiting to collect children, the Planning Committee agreed to spread the word about the harmful effects of toxic exhaust emissions.

We hope you'll take a moment to watch our short video, and, the next time you're driving and pull over for a minute: please remember to switch off your engine.

Thank you.


Wiltshire Council is consulting on key air quality documents until 4 September - your opportunity to submit your views:  


Further information

The Committee on Medical Effects of Air Pollution (COMEAP) report "Mortality effects of long term exposure to particulate air pollution in the UK" found that the burden of manmade particulate air pollution on mortality in 2008 was equivalent to nearly 29,000 deaths in the UK at typical ages and an associated loss of total of population life of 340,000 life-years. The Royal College of Physicians' report "Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution" puts the figure at 40,000 deaths per year and the cost to health services and business at more than £20 billion.


Royal College of Physicians: Every breath we take – the lifelong impact of air pollution

RAC: Engine idling – why it’s harmful and what’s being done

Wiltshire Council:

Air Quality in Wiltshire – highlights Marlborough as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)

Air quality menu

Consequences of poor air quality


Highway Code Rule 123 states "You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road. Generally, if the vehicle is stationary and is likely to remain so for more than a couple of minutes, you should apply the parking brake and switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution. However, it is permissible to leave the engine running if the vehicle is stationary in traffic or for diagnosing faults.”

Under Regulation 98 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, it is an offence to cause emissions or noise by leaving engines running unnecessarily whilst a vehicle is stationary. These requirements apply when a vehicle is parked at the roadside.

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