HC Deb 29 July 1997 vol 299 c205W
Mr. Chidgey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the potential environmental benefits of advising motorists to turn their engines off when stationary; what estimate he has made of the relative benefits in respect of cars whose engines are(a) warm and (b) cold; what assessment he had made of the success of such advice in other European countries with particular reference to Germany; and if he will make a statement. [10562]

Ms Glenda Jackson

Advice is regularly given to drivers in official publications, particularly with regard to environmentally conscious driving. In general, benefits can be gained in terms of reduced emissions and savings in fuel by switching a vehicle's engine off if the vehicle is likely to be stationary in traffic for more than two minutes. The Department has drawn up research proposals to assess the benefits of instructing drivers to switch engines off while waiting at, for example, traffic lights. Under some circumstances, such as when an engine is still cold following a very short journey, it is possible that re-starting could result in higher emissions than would occur had the engine remained idling. The research will therefore identify the engine parameters under which emissions reductions will be achieved. No assessment has been made of the success of advice in Germany or other European countries.

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