Drivers could soon be made to switch off their engines at level crossings

Manchester Evening News 2 weeks ago

Drivers may have to switch their engines off when waiting at level crossings, following a campaign to reduce emissions.

Trafford Council is looking at installing signs at the borough's three crossing points after environmental campaigners pushed to extend anti-idling measures across the borough.

It would mean motorists have to turn their engines off while they wait for passing trains.

The authority is due to make a decision on the proposals at a cabinet meeting on January 27, 2020.

The environmental campaign, led by residents and Green Party councillors, is calling for end to unnecessary air pollution at the level crossings at Navigation Road, Hale and Deansgate Lane for a number of years.

The Navigation Road barrier closes up to ten times per hour and queues at the crossing can stretch as far back as to the A56, with many drivers leaving their engines running.

 

Campaigners are concerned this leaves drivers, pedestrians and those living nearby exposed to exhaust fumes.

Dr Patrick Carrington, a specialist in blood diseases, lives in Altrincham and is concerned about the impact air pollution is having on people's health in Trafford.

He said: "Air pollution is being increasingly recognised as a cause of many diseases, not just lung problems.

"Car drivers don’t realise that they are also putting their own health at risk as the exhaust is sucked into their cars and concentrated so that their exposure increases.

"They would also save money by switching off the engine if their car is stationary for more than 10 seconds.”

 

Dan Jerrome, Green Party councillor for Altrincham, said: "We’re frustrated by how the council are dragging their feet.

"Residents need clean air inside and outside their homes. Similar signs are already in use elsewhere in the country. The council needs to act now.”

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “The council is committed to clean up the air in the borough and is working with other Greater Manchester local authorities and partners to improve air quality.

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“We have already launched a successful engine idling campaign as well as a poster competition to highlight the problem to thousands of school pupils across the borough.

"We are also looking at preventing engine idling at level crossings and a report is due to go to the cabinet in January which will consider signage.”


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