"No Idling" Poster Design Competition Launched

Published: 18 June 2021

Deal Town Council is asking school children to get creative and design eye-catching posters which encourages people to turn off their car engines while waiting, whether that is at the school gate, traffic lights, level crossing or supermarket car park.

The “No Idling” poster competition is open to primary school pupils in the Deal wider area and aims to raise awareness of how making one small change will help to improve the air quality for everyone.

The Mayor has written to the Headteachers at nine local primary schools to invite them to take part in the competition. Signing the letters, the Mayor, Councillor Chris Turner said, “We anticipate that schools will be as keen as we are to see safer roads, more active children, and less polluted routes to and from school.”

The letters were delivered to schools on Clean Air Day, Thursday 17 June. The campaign’s theme this year was appropriately, “protect our children’s health from air pollution”.

The competition will run during next term over September and October. Launching the competition now, the Town Council hopes it has given schools enough time to factor the competition into their lesson plans.

There will be Key Stage 1 and 2 winners at each school, whose designs will be turned into banners for the school to display. The winning designs from each school will then go forward to a Deal-wide competition. The finalists Key Stage 1 and 2 winning designs will be reproduced as banners or boards and displayed across Deal at air pollution hotspots.

Engine idling is where drivers leave their engine running while their vehicle isn’t moving. Short term regular exposure creates a considerable cumulative risk for regular route users such as children going to school. And it is not just children walking, scooting, or cycling. Children inside vehicles are equally at risk.

By not idling their engines drivers will help make the air healthier, save money and also help the environment.

Chair of the Environment Committee, Councillor Christine Oliver said, “air pollution is a hyper local issue. Reducing exhaust emissions from idling engines is important as the pollution does not disperse quickly. This directly causes respiratory, heart and cognitive problems and is especially dangerous to young children and babies.” She added, “we hope this competition is a great way to engage the wider community and raise awareness of the dangers of air pollution and the simple things we can do to improve our air quality.”