Car Idling Campaign: #DontBeIdle by Holy Apostles and Martyrs Parish, Wallasey
The Our Common Home group of Holy Apostles and Martyrs parish in St George’s Road, Wallasey are working with St Georges Primary School and St Mary’s College to monitor air quality and stop car idling by informing shops, residents and businesses of the problems it causes.
Air pollution contributes to premature deaths with links to asthma, coronary heart disease and lung cancer. It is also linked to increased dementia and low birth weight in babies. During the first coronavirus lockdown local improvements in air quality were remarkable and we noted a reduction in allergies.
At Arrowe Park Hospital, the respiratory consultant, Dr Tarpey is very concerned. He said,
“One thing we could all do is to stop leaving our cars idling outside hospitals, school, places where vulnerable people are coming out.”
Wirral Council have a bylaw to stop car idling and impose a fine on offenders. A Freedom of Information request resulted in the fact that no fines have been imposed and there is little intention to fine. Officers can approach and ask a driver not to idle. If he or she refuses to turn the engine off, then a fine can be imposed. The law doesn’t cover car parks. They are aware of issues with the taxi rank in Liscard.
We are asking all drivers to switch their engine off when stationary to reduce air pollution. We ask them to pledge to switch their engine off when waiting at the kerb side, when making a delivery or picking up passengers, not to leave the engine on in bad weather or when charging their phones.
As drivers we can make a difference. Let’s work together to further reduce pollution and improve the health of everyone by pledging to switch our engines off at the roadside. To show your support, please use #DontBeIdle @Hamparish
For enquires and to find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Methods for publicising the campaign
Cards were printed with our message and matching posters. In addition about 30 posters were supplied by Wirral BC. 1,000 cards and many posters were distributed to nearly all the take-aways, businesses and shops on Wallasey Village from Perrin Road to Windsor’s Car Showrooms and on Leasowe Road to Mosslands Drive the week commencing 19th April 2021. Also parishioners took cards to give out and the message was put in the weekly newsletter from 4th April. Covid restrictions meant that all shops reopened on 12th April. The group met with staff from St George’s Primary School and St Mary’s College to plan the monitoring with staff and students.
A press release was sent out on 18.4.21 to Radio Merseyside, The Liverpool Echo and the Globe but not published. A later press release was sent to InYourArea and was posted online.
The following schools received the information to pass on to parents, carers and staff: St Mary’s, St George’s, St Bernard’s Ellesmere Port; Our Lady of Pity Greasby, St Joseph’s Wallasey and Birkenhead, Ss Peter and Paul’s New Brighton and St Paul’s, Beechwood.
Letters were sent to all Wallasey Village Councillors, Candidates in the Metro Mayoral elections.
Information was sent to Wallasey Village Churches Together, the Labour Eco group, Lynn Struve (Eco-school Officer), Wirral XR, Wallasey Tree Planting Group and various contacts.
Social media posts were put out and shared on Twitter and Facebook, by the parish, both schools and the Our Common Home group.
Method for monitoring air quality
Air quality monitors were used during the month of April to gain background readings while the schools were off and at various locations. These concentrated around the block of roads near both schools and the church: Sandy Lane (part) Wallasey Village (part); St George’s Road (part) and Perrin Drive; and Claremount Road near St George’s School upper site. The monitors were Gradko Air particle Counters measuring both small particulate matter LT 0.5 micron and large particulate matter LT 2.5 micron, x100=particles per square foot.
The parish monitored while the school and shops were closed, from 4th April and did some days when the schools and shops were open from 12th April.
St George’s monitored air quality at both sites from Monday 19th to Friday 23rd April 2021.
At the Upper site the measurements were taken in the dinner hall, the playground and at the main gate at around 8.30 and 10.15am and 3.30pm.
At the Lower site the measurements were taken at the main gate, in the centenary area and in the Cage around 9am, midday and 3pm on four of the days and at 9am and 12noon on the fifth day.
St Mary’s College monitored air quality from Monday 26th to Friday 30th April at three sites, outside the main gate, on Sandy Lane where the buses wait and next to the church on St George’s Road, before 8.30 and around mid-morning, noon and 2.30pm.
|Monitoring dates||Air Quality||Group|
|Very Good||Good||Fair||Poor||Very Poor||no days with good air quality|
|13/04/2021||x||Ham||Schools and shops opened 12/4/21|
|19/04/2021||x||x||Ham +St Georges|
|20/04/2021||x||St George’s||peak 7129 lower site|
|21/04/2021||x||x||x||Ham +St Georges|
|Air Quality Chart .5um Small count reading|
|up to 75||Excellent|
Posters to local GP practices.
Feedback to Wirral Climate Action group, Wirral View council publication.
Ask students to write to bus companies.
Contact MP, Dame Angela Eagle with results.
Contact UU, BT OpenReach regarding car idling to use computer equipment.
Lynn Struve thinks legislation and fines are the only deterrent as previous campaigns have only resulted in short term rather than long term behaviour change.
Should we campaign for Car idling signs with the fine shown outside all schools, elderly people’s homes and hospitals?
Clean Air day demonstration?