Stuck in a jam

First published in Letters

YOU report that motorists in Malton and Norton are being “asked to switch off their engines whenever possible in a bid to improve air quality”.

Leaving aside that the idea of repeatedly switching the engine on and off in traffic queues is anathema to most motorists (except in motorway seize-ups), I can see no element of “asking” in the sign that reads “Switch off your engine when stationary” – not even a “please”.

Surely a word or two about air quality of petrol consumption would help? I realise the safety concerns – distracting drivers at the wheel – but hardly relevant when they’re already stuck in a traffic jam, and those concerns don’t seem to prevent the barber at Butcher Corner advertising his opening times in window posters, or Yorkshire Tea Rooms promoting their menus with street signs.


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