Bold new signs point the way to better air quality in Bicester

Motorists using the London Road in Bicester will soon see several new signs reminding them to cut their engines while waiting for the train barriers to lift.

Published: Tuesday, 18th June 2019

To coincide with Clean Air Day 2019, Cherwell District Council is installing six new reflective signs at strategic points to the north and south of the London Road crossing on Thursday (20 June), instructing people to “please turn engine off whilst stationary”. 
Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “The London Road is a key access route for cars, cyclists and pedestrians into Bicester, but pollution levels can increase when the level crossing is down, due to drivers leaving their vehicles running. 
“As part of our Healthy Bicester programme we are supporting efforts to improve air quality in the town.
“Pollution levels can be four times worse for motorists, even if they have the windows wound up, compared to cyclists and pedestrians.
“The new bright yellow signs give several clear reminders to turn off engines whilst idling, for the benefit of everyone using the road and will help improve the air quality in the area as a whole.”
The notices reiterate the red boarded signs already in place at either side of the crossing, which are legally enforceable.
Daily patrols by Cherwell’s community safety team will take place at peak times to make sure motorists are following the instructions. But instead of reporting the offence, if a driver is spotted with their engine running, officers have been asked to engage with them to encourage them to change their habits in the future.