A group of Hale residents are asking “idling” drivers to turn off their engines at the railway crossing in a bid to improve air quality in the village.
The residents say that drivers will regularly keep their car engines running while sitting in a queue at the level crossing, as well as other places in the village.
They say they have been “frustrated at the lack of any action” from Trafford Council and have now taken matters into their hands and erected signs at the pollution “black spots”.
They have also put up signs near the crossing on Navigation Road in Altrincham.
Dr Patrick Carrington, a local specialist in blood medicine, said: “I just don’t think drivers realise the damage that idling cars do to their own health because the fumes are concentrated within the cars. Air pollution attacks more organs in the body than smoking and also increases the risk of dying from Covid infection.
“As well as the effects on health for drivers and pedestrians there are financial costs to drivers. It has been estimated that if a car is stationary for just 10 seconds or more turning off the engine will save money.”
Another local resident, Paul Luton, added: “I live near the crossing and the gates can be closed for up to ten minutes with more than 20 cars waiting – that’s a lot of exhaust fumes!”
Cllr Steve Adshead, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change, said: “Trafford Council is totally committed to a greener future for the borough and this includes tackling air pollution. We are working closely with other Greater Manchester authorities to improve air quality across the borough through the Clean Air Plan.
“We are also in the process of introducing signs at schools and level crossings warning of the dangers of engine idling and are looking at enforcement measures for drivers who continue to leave their engines running while at a standstill. Last year, we launched a successful engine idling campaign as well as a poster competition to highlight the problem to thousands of school pupils across the borough.
“Some of the initiatives we are in the process of introducing, including signage, have been delayed because of the coronavirus epidemic but we are determined to bring them forward.”