Monday, August 04, 2014

Islington to fine idling drivers to boost air quality

Drivers caught running their engines unnecessarily while stationary are to be issued with on-the-spot fines by council officers

Islington council will from the 1st August begin issuing on-the-spot fines to idling motorists in the London borough in a bid to boost air quality.

In what the borough council believes is the ‘first campaign of its type’ in UK, drivers in the borough will be educated on the air quality impacts of running their engine while the vehicle is stationary.

Cllr Claudia Webbe hands out Switch Off Your Engine leaflets to idling motorist

And, drivers who fail to turn off their engine after being asked to do so by an authorised council officer will also be issued with on-the-spot fines under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002.

The law covers all vehicles on public roads including buses, taxis and private cars. However it does not apply to vehicles moving slowly due to road works or congestion; vehicles stopped at traffic lights; vehicles under test or repair; or defrosting a windscreen.

According to the council, an idling engine can release as much pollution into the air as a moving vehicle, so turning off the engine when stationary reduces the amount of harmful pollutants being released while also saving on fuel costs.

Islington has also been working with Transport for London (TfL) to encourage high-polluting buses to switch off their engines when idling at bus stops at driver switch-over points and bus stops at the end of routes.

The council’s campaign comes as the Mayor of London Boris Johnson this week announced his air quality manifesto for the capital, which includes proposals to charge diesel drivers an additional £10 to drive in the planned ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) from 2020 (see story).


However, Islington council believes Mr Johnson should be doing more to tackle air pollution and protect the health of residents in the borough.

Cllr Claudia Webbe joins enforcement officers to encourage buses not to idle

Islington councillor Claudia Webbe, executive member for the environment, said: “We are committed to improving air quality in Islington which is why we are clamping down on idling buses, lorries and diesel cars, as part of our air quality strategy.

“We are taking action to tackle the problem of air pollution in Islington but we need Boris Johnson to do his share: by introducing a low-polluting bus fleet, and addressing the high number of polluting lorries that travel through our streets on a daily basis affecting residents’ health.”

The campaign is the latest part of the council’s commitment to reducing air pollution and increasing air quality, and follows the launch of Islington’s air quality strategy, the introduction of 20mph speed limits and the Air Text service for residents.

More information on the borough’s idling campaign is available on the council website.

Editorial Comment:

Perhaps someone from Islington Councils can point me towards some sort of indipendant scientific research, which shows that lowering the speed limit improves air quality!!!

Also, perhaps the same person can explain about the benefit of starting up a cooled down Diesel engine over idling, in respect to the time rested ratio aspect!!!

Are drivers waiting at Taxi ranks in midwinter expected to freeze?

In the heat wave of the summer, must drivers be expected to roast rather than employing AC?

The Taxi trade are forever being branded as not moving forward into the 21st century and here we have Islington Council dragging us back into the dark ages, with a clear agenda of making financial gain.

Why aren't Islington campaigning to the Mayor, to get him to fund cleaner Taxi engines in vehicles that drivers can afford?

TfL, the GLA and all London Boroughs have known about the poor air quality situation in London for many years, but none of these bodies have approach manufactures. 

All they ever do is attack and fine drivers.

How will issuing penalty tickets to drivers do anything other than raise revenue?



Anonymous said...

Hope Islington's compliance officers are better than TfL's.

Anonymous said...

Don't accept the FPN, state that w you wish to appear in front of the committee etc and always ask for their supervisor.

Anonymous said...

Just to expand the 1st point in your excellent Editorial

I would like to know ALL of Polution ramifications of the ridiculous 20mph speed-limit

eg how much more POLUTING is an engine, when it's restricted to 20mph?