Twyford’s drivers are being urged to turn off their engines while they wait in traffic in order to limit the amount of harmful gases released into the atmosphere.

The town’s crossroads have been identified as one of the borough’s “critical areas” for having high levels of dangerous gas .

Now Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC) ruling Conservative party are calling on residents to take action while the authority prepares for a “long-term solution”.

This comes after new leader councillor John Halsall pledged to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030.

Asking drivers to turn off their engines while in traffic is one of the first actions taken by the new administration, and Tory councillors hope to achieve this after tasking officers to install signs requesting motorists switch off their cars in standstills.

Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, WBC’s highways boss, said: “Stationary traffic is one of the biggest causes for carbon emissions and other harmful gases in our borough.

“We are taking action to combat congestion across the borough, but it is essential we take action in Twyford now, to improve the lives and health of all residents.

“There are no easy solutions to congestion in historic towns, which is why we ask all residents to support our initiatives now as we work towards a longer-term solution.

“I have challenged the highways team to assess alternative road layouts to reduce congestion and also look at improving the parking access and exits at Twyford station.”

In March, the News reported claims residents have had ambulances called out for them after walking down Twyford high street because air pollution caused them to have respiratory problems.

And last year, the News reported poor air quality led to 11 preventable deaths per 100,000 people in Wokingham in 2015.

A report from July 2018 outlined 5.6 per cent of all deaths in the borough came from causes related to air pollution.

The report also suggested that air pollution can make people ill for a number of years.

As well as asking drivers to turn off their engines in congestion, the ruling group hopes to introduce a ‘green wall’ in Twyford so more CO2 is drawn in from the urban greening.