SIR - Massive improvements in air quality have been made in this country over the last century and, with the phasing out of petrol and diesel vehicles, there should be a further reduction in both particulates and harmful gases. In the meantime, we are encouraged to drive in a way that minimises exhaust emissions.

Even though we cannot at present all change our cars for electric ones, it is clear that one simple, albeit small way for us all to do our bit to help both people’s health, air quality and environmental emissions is to switch off our car engine when we are stationary.

Idling the engine unnecessarily increases emissions that are harmful to health, particularly for people with chronic chest conditions, and to the environment. It is against the law.

Idling your engine is antisocial behaviour and environmental vandalism. It affects all of us even if you can’t see the fumes. Please! When you are stationary, switch it off!

Dr MP Cosgrove, retired consultant in Occupational Medicine, Idle