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Vehicle Emissions


Four councils, West Lothian, East Lothian, Falkirk and Midlothian, have joined forces to tackle drivers' attitudes towards harmful vehicle emissions and have worked together to produce the campaign, which is now in to its fifth year.


Drivers can benefit from the free sessions in Bathgate, Livingston and Armadale from now until Octobe. The sessions take place from 10am to 5pm.

14-17 March   Tesco Bathgate
26-27 MarchAsda Livingston
18-19 April Asda Armadale

30 Apr-1 May

Tesco Bathgate
16-17 May Asda Livingston
30-31 May Asda Armadale
15-16 JuneTesco Bathgate
27-28 June Asda Livingston
13-14 July Asda Armadale
8-9 August Tesco Bathgate
24-25 August Asda Livingston
19-20 September Asda Armadale
3-4 October Tesco Bathgate
15-16 October Asda Livingston
29-30 October Asda Armadale

The message is switch off your engine when possible.


Click here to watch a short video highlighting the effects of idling which is being used in our 'Switch Off' TV campaigns.


Smokey and Idling Vehicles In West Lothian 

Smoke and fumes that come from vehicle exhausts are harmful to health. They contain chemicals which are toxic and there is no reason that we should be breathing those fumes into our lungs.  62% of people with Asthma say that traffic fumes make their Asthma worse.


To report 'Smokey' or Idling Vehicles contact the Hotline Number 01845 451 888  and leave the following details:

  • Location
  • Registration Number
  • Owner Details (if known)
  • Date and Time
  • And for idling, how long the vehicle remained stationary with its engine running                          

Or text idle to 60777.


If you leave your vehicle idling when you are stationary you are contributing to air pollution.


Research shows that:  

  • 10 seconds of engine idling uses more fuel than restarting.
  • each litre of fuel generates 2.4kg of greenhouse gas Co2.
  • exhaust emissions contain a range of toxic substances such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, hydrocarbons and particulates.
  • There are 100,000 children in Scotland with asthma (1 in 9 or 3 in every classroom).
  • 62% of people with asthma tell us that traffic fumes make their asthma worse.
  • 80% of people with asthma tell us they are concerned about the effect that increasing traffic fumes will have on their health, their family’s health and their children’s health.
  • A quarter of people with asthma say that a reduction in air pollution is the single thing that would make the most difference to their quality of life in relation to their asthma.

A recently published report: ‘The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’ states:  “Air pollution is currently estimated to reduce the life expectancy of every person in the UK by an average of seven to eight months. The measures outlined in the strategy could help to reduce the impact on average life expectancy to five months by 2020, and provide a significant step forward in protecting our environment.”

Every 10 minutes of vehicle idling costs at least one-tenth of a litre in wasted fuel, and each litre of fuel generates 2.4kg of greenhouse gas Co2.


If each one of the estimated 80,000 cars on the road in West Lothian idled for just 10 minutes each week, conservative estimates suggest a staggering 416,000 litres of petrol would be wasted each year.


This would also result in almost one million kilograms of Co2 being pumped into the atmosphere unnecessarily.


Many car experts also refute claims that keeping an engine warm by idling is beneficial for the car, as fuel combustion is incomplete when the engine is not working at its peak operating temperature, leaving residues that contaminate engine oil and foul spark plugs.


For vehicles with diesel engines with coolants, such as buses and lorries, switching your engine off will actually keep the engine warmer for longer.