Campaign launched to coincide with Clean Air Day

To coincide with national Clean Air Day on 21st June 2018, Red Funnel will shortly launch a campaign to encourage drivers waiting to board or disembark its ferries not to start their engines until the vehicle in front of them starts to move.

The initiative, applying to Red Funnel’s Southampton-East Cowes service, is designed to help improve the local air quality for customers and staff working at the terminals and on-board. It will also raise awareness of the potential risks to health and the environment as well as the financial cost of needlessly idling an engine.

In partnership with the Environment Centre and Southampton’s Clean Air Network, a number of fun anti-idling events with competitions and giveaways are being planned at the ferry terminals over the summer to educate drivers on the benefits of switching off. Social media will also play a large part in the light-hearted campaign which will feature advice to customers prior to travelling and signage around the terminals and on the ferry vehicle decks.

Campaign messages:

  • idling uses unnecessary fuel and is a significant contributor to local air pollution
  • evels of pollution inside a car can be ten times worse than the air outside if parked behind an idling vehicle
  • modern batteries need less engine running time to stay charged
  • idling increases the wear and tear on engines, much more so than stopping and restarting them
  • engines stay warm for up to an hour, even in winter and the fan will continue to blow warm air
  • in summer when using air conditioning, cool air will still circulate when the engine is switched off

Fran Collins, Red Funnel’s CEO commented: “Whether you are young or old, air quality affects us all so we hope our anti-idling campaign will help change driver behavior and play a part in reducing nitrogen dioxide levels in cities like Southampton. We think by highlighting the dangers of exhaust emissions and the fuel savings that can be achieved, we will be able to persuade more customers to switch off.”

The anti-idling campaign follows a succession of environmental initiatives taken by the cross-Solent ferry operator in recent months. Measures include the trial use of Biofuel to further reduce Nitrogen dioxide and Sulphur dioxide emissions from its ships, the installation of new on-board chiller units to reduce greenhouse gases, improved waste recycling with zero items going to landfill and the purchase of electric vehicles at the terminals. In addition, the company is actively working on sourcing alternatives to single-use plastics and has recently been accredited with the latest environmental standard 14001:2015.

Red Funnel is also sponsoring the biggest ever attempted clean-up of the Isle of Wight’s coastline and estuaries from 22-23 September 2018 and is encouraging volunteers to save the date. For more information please visit