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£20 fine for engine idling being adopted by numerous councils

Autocar logo Autocar 03/08/2018 Jimi Beckwith
£20 fine for engine idling being adopted by numerous councils © Autocar £20 fine for engine idling being adopted by numerous councils

A new measure to prevent drivers from leaving their engines idling while parked is gaining traction in multiple areas of the country.

Councils in Nottingham, Norwich, Reading and London have all adopted the on-the-spot fines, and the Times reports that 30 further areas are planning to introduce them, in a bid to improve air quality in the UK’s urban areas. 

The fines are aimed partly at parents picking up and dropping off their children at school, which contributes to a spike in pollution in those areas, given the number of cars stationary with their engines on at pick-up and drop-off times. 

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A new study carried out by King’s College London highlighted the dangers of car pollution when living in an area affected, claiming a seven-week life expectancy increase for those born after air quality legislation. 

RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: “With the spotlight firmly on reducing pollution in urban areas, we welcome a focus on reducing unnecessary engine idling. The correct procedure should be for an enforcement officer to ask the driver to switch their engine off and if they refuse, they will be issued a penalty. Idling engines can produce up to twice the amount of emissions of an engine in motion, and for drivers it can mean higher fuel bills too.

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It’s the latest charge in the name of air quality, with the T-charge costing London drivers £10 daily if they’re at the wheel of the pre-Euro 4 car, petrol or diesel. 

Other parties have suggested alternative measures, however; a health group previously suggested the removal of traffic calming measures in residential areas, to prevent the pollution caused by on-off acceleration associated with the measures.


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