“I hope it will prove influential in reducing the amount of air pollution we are exposed to every day.”PHE estimates long-term exposure to particulate air pollution has ‘an effect equivalent to’ around 25,000 deaths a year in England, which makes air pollution the largest environmental risk linked to deaths every year.The health impact of air pollution caused by human activities in the UK is estimated to cost between £8.5 billion and £18.6 billion a year.Road traffic is estimated to contribute more than 64 per cent of air pollution recorded at urban sites. This comes from exhausts and other sources such as the wear of tyres. Professor Paul Lincoln, chief executive of UK health forum and chair of the Nice guideline committee said: “Air pollution is a major risk to our health, and so far suggested measures have not managed to tackle the problem sufficiently.“This guidance is based upon the best evidence available. It outlines a range of practical steps that Local Authorities can take, such as the implementation of no-idling zones, to reduce emissions and protect the public. The new guidelines are designed to prevent pollution in areas where vulnerable adults and children congregatedCredit:Alamy Parents are likely to be banned from leaving their cars idling while on the school run under new guidance from public health officials to prevent air pollution.Guidelines published today from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, (Nice) and Public Health England (PHE) calls on councils to enforce a ‘no idling’ policy near where vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly gather.It means that parents could face fines for keeping their engines running outside of schools. Nice said it even meant ice-cream vans would no longer be able to wait outside the school gates. Ice cream sellers cannot turn their engines off because they power the on-board fridges.Nice said that although air pollution was harmful for everyone, under 14s and over 65s were more susceptible to the effects, as are people with respiratory conditions such asthma or heart problems. Other recommendations include removing speed bumps to allow smoother driving, introducing more clean air zones and congestion charging, a bringing in fees for the most polluting vehicles.Professor Paul Cosford, PHE’s Director of Health Protection and Medical Director said: “We need a concerted effort to address the health impacts of air pollution and this report shows there are steps we can all take to help tackle it.“Many of us can walk or cycle instead of using the car, particularly on short journeys. We can all avoid idling our engines and drive more smoothly to reduce emissions. Speed bumps could also be removed to prevent drivers stopping and starting, which causes more pollution Credit:Alex Segre / Alamy Stock Photo “Councils can include low and zero emission strategies in their plans. For example, providing charging points for electric vehicles and introducing Clean Air Zones which can include restrictions or charges for certain types of high polluting vehicles.”The bulk of initiatives are aimed at local authority staff working in transport, planning and public health.Professor Mark Baker, director for the centre of guidelines at NICE said: “The battle against air pollution has to be one we are all fully committed to, and our actions should know no boundaries.“We need a long-term plan to improve air quality. Our guidance can help us to achieve that.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.