CHILDREN have unveiled banners urging stationary drivers to switch off their engines in a bid to cut pollution in a Hampshire village.

Posters emblazoned with the message "Stop, the pollution, here's a solution" are being displayed in Lyndhurst as the area looks ahead to another summer likely to be marred by major congestion.

The hard-hitting message is aimed at motorists stuck in long queues at the junction of High Street and Romsey Road.

Pupils from nearby St Michael and All Angels School took part in the unveiling ceremony.

Tall buildings in the village centre are said to create a tunnel effect, trapping the fumes belching from the exhausts of stationary vehicles.

Lyndhurst is one of Hampshire's biggest bottlenecks during the tourist season, with queues often stretching for several miles on weekends and bank holidays.

Tailbacks have been known to extend as far north as the Cadnam roundabout as thousands of families wait to enter to Forest.

New Forest District Council (NFDC) has worked with Hampshire County Council (HCC), and teachers and pupils at Hounsdown School in Totton to develop the new banners.

The "anti-idling" campaign aims to raise awareness of local air quality issues and encourage drivers to turn off their engines while sitting in traffic.

Lyndhurst has been an air quality management area since 2005.

Rachel Higgins, NFDC’s environmental protection team manager, said: “While improvements in pollution levels have been made we want to encourage visitors and the local community to do their bit and turn off their engines whilst waiting in stationary traffic.”

The two councils have already asked the drivers to school buses to turn off their engines when collecting pupils.