CIVIC chiefs, environment bosses and volunteers teamed up this week to mark the launch of a new green awareness scheme.

The group took to the streets of Southampton to roll out the city council’s new ‘No-Idling’ campaign.

Launched on Tuesday, the campaign aims to raise awareness of how switching vehicle engines off when stationary can improve the city’s air quality.

Councillor Christopher Hammond, portfolio holder for Sustainable Living, who took part as a volunteer said: “Idling your car for longer than 30 seconds is a waste of fuel, detrimental to your health and unnecessarily adding to the pollution in the city.

“This No-Idling campaign is helping to raise awareness in pollution hotspots and by engaging with people, helping to change behaviour.”

Christabel Watts from the Environment Centre, which is facilitating the No-Idling campaign, said “This is a small act that everyone can take, that would significantly create a tangible improvement if enough people did it.”

The group took to the city’s streets on Tuesday to talk to residents about the campaign.

A series of billboard posters have also been put up across the city, and will remain in place until April.

The No-Idling campaign is one of the city council’s recent schemes to tackle the city’s high pollution levels.

Last month, the council rolled out six new electric vans – which will replace some of its older and more polluting vehicles.

The authority has pledged to convert 20 per cent of its vehicle fleet to electric by 2020.

The council will also introduce 30 on-street parking charging points for public use in its car parks by the end of March.

This will increase opportunities for those owning electric cars to recharge their vehicles while shopping or using other city centre facilities.

It comes ahead of the introduction of a Clean Air Zone in the city in 2020.

Southampton is one of five cities in UK to have a Clean Air Zone, due its high levels of pollution.

Older and more polluting vehicles will be charged to enter the zone – including lorries, buses and taxis.