Pollution cut as signs prompt drivers to switch off engines

 

Strategically-placed road signs can help tackle air pollution by prompting drivers to turn their engines off at traffic lights, new research reveals.

A study conducted by the University of East Anglia (UEA) has revealed that road signs placed at a busy junction can lead to an increase in the number of people turning their engines off at red lights.

”Local

The signs used in the study, which cost £1000 in total, had messages such as: ‘Turn off your engine when the traffic lights are red. You will improve air quality in this area.’

Before their introduction only 9.6% of people turned off their engine while waiting at a red light — this increased to 17% when a sign was present.

Carried out in collaboration with Norwich City Council and funded by Norfolk County Council’s Transport for Norwich initiative, the study also found motorists continued to switch of their engines after the signs were taken down.

‘Traffic and vehicle pollution is a primary contributor to poor air quality and idling traffic is of particular concern,’ said Dr Rose Meleady, a lecturer in psychology at UEA.

‘Our research shows that using psychological theory to inform the design of road signs can help bring about changes in driver behaviour.

‘Rather than simply telling people what do to, the signs are designed to tap into the underlying motivational basis for behaviour.’

‘While there are stop-start technologies being developed for cars, this is a simple, cheap, site-specific method of encouraging positive behaviour change,’ Dr Meleady continued.

‘It is also a good example of working together with local authorities on an important issue — how to get people to turn off their engines and ultimately reduce air pollution. We’d like to work with others in this way.’

Cllr John Fisher, chair of Norwich Highways Agency Committee, commented: ‘Air quality is an important issue facing cities across the country and work like this is a valuable step in understanding what measures we can take to keep emissions as low as possible.

‘Initial findings from the Riverside Road study are promising so we’d like to continue our collaboration with UEA and look for funding opportunities to explore this approach to behaviour change further.

‘We’re pleased to have supported the research through Transport for Norwich — it’s a real asset to have this sort of expertise on our doorstep and I’m delighted we’re using it to look at ways of addressing such an important subject.’

This article first appeared on localgov.co.uk.

 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Fire Safety Contract Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£40,028 to £46,431
We are currently seeking an experienced Fire Safety Contract Manager to lead and co-ordinate activities and to ensure that the service is managed Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Pest Control Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£27,093 to £29,188
As a Pest Control Officer within Environmental Health, Business and Consumer Services your focus will be to deliver pest control treatments Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Waste Prevention Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£35,913 - £41,657
We now have an exciting opportunity for a talented and enthusiastic individual to join us and be part of a team tottenham
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Waste Prevention Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£35,913 - £41,657
We now have an exciting opportunity for a talented and enthusiastic individual to join us and be part of a team developing a new vision Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Operations Manager – Waste and Recycling

Bath & North East Somerset Council
£38,052- £40,858.
This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced waste management professional Bath, Somerset
Recuriter: Bath & North East Somerset Council

HGV Driver/Loader

Torridge District Council
£18,070 - £20,138
DRIVER/LOADER (HGV) Driving and loading a refuse/recycling collection vehicle up to 26 tonne gross weight, you will collect recycling or household ... Bideford, Devon
Recuriter: Torridge District Council

Principal Transport Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£37,320 to £40,198
The role will require close dialogue with developers and their agents and necessitate strong partnership working with District Councils... Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Senior Engineer – Traffic and Road Safety

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 - £38,994 per annum
Redbridge Council is an outer Borough, working to improve the environment and its services for residents and businesses. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Trainee Technician – Active and Sustainable Travel

Redbridge London Borough Council
£20,667 - £22,424 per annum
Redbridge Council is an outer Borough, working to improve the environment and its services for residents and businesses. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Engineer – Parking

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 - £38,994 per annum
To be responsible for the delivery of parking engineering design and implementation of schemes across the borough Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Engineer – Highway Maintenance/Asset Management

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 - £38,994 per annum
To be responsible for highway asset management, reactive and planned highway maintenance, highway safety and structural surveys and inspections. Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Trainee Technician – Projects

Redbridge London Borough Council
£20,667 - £22,424 per annum
Redbridge Council is an outer Borough, working to improve the environment and its services for residents and businesses. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Engineer – Flood Management/Civil Engineering

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 - £38,994 per annum
To provide expert advice on highway and land drainage, flood risk management, sustainable drainage, highway structures and bridges... Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Engineer – Development Control

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 - £38,994 per annum
To be responsible for assisting and supporting the operational delivery of the Council’s highways development control function and to assist the lead Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Engineer – Projects

Redbridge London Borough Council
£30,930 - £32,638 per annum
To assist with the delivery of highway and land drainage, flood risk management, sustainable drainage, highway structures and bridges... Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Engineer – Parking

Redbridge London Borough Council
£30,930 - £32,638 per annum
To assist with the delivery of parking engineering design and implementation of schemes across the borough Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Engineer (Bridges)

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
You will have experience in the development, planning, design and implementation of transport infrastructure and related projects Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Pest Control Officer

Brent Council
£25,746 - £27,342 p.a. inc.
Salary range
Recuriter: Brent Council

Streetworks Officer

Westminster City Council
£32,592 - £41,601
As Streetworks Officer you will be a member of the permitting and streetworks team City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Vehicle Mechanic

Rugby Borough Council
£23,866 - £28,221 (£28,703 - £33,941 pro rata for 44.5 hours per week)
The post holder will ideally be qualified to undertake taxi compliance testing, preparation for MOT testing from Class 4 and 7. Rugby, Warwickshire
Recuriter: Rugby Borough Council