Forums Forums Traffic Signs General Discussion ‘No Idling Engines’ signs

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    We’re increasingly getting calls to erect signs to encourage drivers to switch off engines when waiting at a mainline Bristol-Paddington level crossing in our area (which admittedly causes significant delays of 20+ minutes throughout the day on a very busy C Class road on the outskirts of one of our towns). Like many, our Council has declared a ‘climate emergency’ and so we’re being asked why the signs aren’t already there. From an online search it seems Sheffield CC may be actively enforcing for idling engines outside schools and have signs which have presumably had DfT Special Authorisation, but I can’t find reference on the DfT webpage if these apply nationally.

    We’re unlikely to be the only Authority being asked to improve air quality, in this case near a level crossing but at many others it will be school focussed. At a time when we’re also being told to consider sign clutter it seems counter intuitive as currently we have no spare resource to actively enforce, but any advice on this would be welcome. I’m not sure that signs are a requirement for enforcement but there doesn’t seem to be a standard sign design anyway I can see that unless there is there will be pressure to erect signs designed by local children to meet a PR box ticking agenda… Advice welcome


    November 2019

    Three London authorities (TfL, Westminster and City) have got authorisation for identical worded signs that say in black lettering on white, on either 2 lines or 4:
    Switch off engine
    Reduce emissions

    Click here for Westminster’s. There are some unusual conditions attached to some of these authorisations. TfL may not display more than 50 such signs; the 2017 City authorisation (but not the 2019 one) only allows the signs to be up for 18 months.


    January 2020

    I had a response from the Design and Assurance officer in Strategic Support at Sheffield CC with a very useful brief on their experiences with introducing the ‘No idling’ signs around his authority area, together with a copy of the sign design they’re using (should anyone wish to contact him if they are being asked to provide similar signs in their area). There are now several hundred of their signs in use around the Sheffield area outside schools, colleges and taxi ranks. The signs are an advisory part of their ‘Air Aware’ PR campaign and as far as I’m aware have not gone through DfT for special authorisation but are in use and on street furniture regardless.


    January 2020

    We often get requests for these outside schools. My usual response is that the issue is caused by parents of children who attend the school, so the school should be actively discouraging it through their own communications.

    Not the same with level crossings though…

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