Clean air champions are urging drivers to stop idling, switch off their polluting engines and help Bath’s air quality as part of a new campaign.
Community group Bath Living Streets has its second event on Saturday 28th April from 10:15am to help to improve air quality in the city. The group launched its anti-idling scheme ‘I’m no idler’ on in March with great success.
The group has recruited a team of volunteer Clean Air Champions who will be talking to drivers in Abbey and Walcot wards about idling and how it contributes to air pollution and the subsequent affects health.
Drivers will be encouraged to switch off their engines and invited to pledge never to idle again and help to reduce vehicle emissions.
The volunteers will be working in pairs wearing Bath Clean Air Champion hi visibility vests.
Gill Risbridger from the Living Streets Bath Group said: “We are launching this scheme in Bath because, as locals in the city, we want to play a part in improving its air quality, not just for residents, but also for visitors and businesses here.
“We’ve taken part in a No Idling event in London, and having seen how it works we wanted to bring it Bath and do the same in some key areas in the city. The tried and tested approach is friendly and non-judgemental and has an 80% success rate.”
Last December Bath City Forum awarded Bath Living Streets a grant to get the scheme up and running. Bath and Southampton are the first two cities outside of London to roll out the successful I’m Idler scheme, set up in 2016.
The group hopes it will be able to target other areas within Bath including schools and hospitals if the initial campaign proves successful.
Councillor Mark Shelford, (Conservative Lyncombe) cabinet member for Transport and Environment, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting Living Streets Bath to launch its anti-idling scheme. Having community initiatives like this makes a valuable contribution to the improvement in air quality that needs to be made by 2021. The council is currently working with central government’s Joint Air Quality Unit to tackle air pollution through the Bath BreATHes 2021 project. By tackling this issue together with residents, visitors and businesses we’ll be able to meet the challenge ahead.”
Lily Hughes, a member of the Living Streets group, added: “As a mother of two, I'm hugely concerned about air pollution in our beautiful city. When walking with the children we are frequently aware of breathing in fumes from both moving traffic and parked cars with engines running needlessly. We all have a responsibility to do something about this and so I'm joining the Bath Clean Air Champions.”
If you want to find out more about volunteering for the group please go to