I would like to pass on thanks to:

* The car driver who was waiting outside the M & S store in Kendal last week for turning off his idling engine when asked politely to do so.

* The postman who always turns off the engine while making deliveries nearby, however short the time

Equally, please pass on the opposite of thanks to:

* The taxi drivers who regularly keep engines running while parked in town

* The three drivers parked near Natwest Bank who left their engines on, with no one in the cabs

* The parent waiting for an hour outside a piano teacher's while her child had a lesson (apparently she wanted to keep warm)

* The two builders lorries left idling while the men read newspapers and had lunch

Each year South Lakeland District Council reports on air quality in Kendal. An Air Quality Management Area was declared in 2001 when levels were found to be above the government’s annual mean NO2 objective.

Last year one of their seven action points was to work to reduce engine idling, including running a ‘No Idling’ campaign to coincide with Clean Air Day. The campaign does not seem to be working, partly through ignorance and some selfishness.

If you are a driver please give a thought to the emissions your vehicle makes and consider turning off the engine when it does not need to be running, especially near schools. You would then be helping combat adverse health impacts.

It is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer. Additionally, air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable in society: children and older people, and those with heart and lung conditions.

M.G. Marvin