Drivers have been urged to switch their engines off when not moving amid fears the easing of lockdown will worsen air pollution.

Barking and Dagenham Council wants people to help clean up the borough's toxic air by switching off when stuck in traffic, at red lights or parked.

Cllr Margaret Mullane said the quality of air in Barking and Dagenham is not great and is having a significant impact on health.

"Leaving engines on while you’re sat still in a car is just not necessary and is threatening the health of anyone nearby. I am urging all drivers to turn their engines off when they’re not needed," she added.

Last month, councillors approved an air quality action plan which outlines measures to improve air quality.

The local authority expects more people will get behind the wheel as lockdown eases, worsening air pollution.

Some idling vehicles emit pollutants including nitrogen dioxide which is linked to asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis and cancer.