Drivers who leave motor running in Islington will be fined in first ‘idling’ campaign in the country
- Credit: Archant
Drivers who leave their motors running could be hit with on the spot fines in the first campaign of its kind in the country.
From August 1, Islington Council officers will crack down on idling vehicles, including buses, churning out the kind of deadly pollution that kills 200 people a year in the borough.
If a motorist doesn’t turn off their engine when told, they’ll be given a £20 charge – which will double to £40 if they don’t pay promptly.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said, “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.”
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The officers will patrol idling hotspots – including Highbury Corner, Vorley Road, in Archway and Goswell Road, in Finsbury – telling drivers the advantages of turning off their motors; not only reducing pollution but saving cash on fuel.
But while Islington’s opposition Green Party like the idea, they say the town hall need to get tougher on pollution.
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Cllr Caroline Russell, from the Greens, said: “It is encouraging to see the council finally taking a more active approach to reducing air pollution with their ‘don’t be idle’ campaign to educate drivers about the need to switch off vehicle engines when stationary.
“However Cllr Webbe’s calls to get the Mayor of London to play his part ring a little hollow when the Labour council is still refusing to call for Islington to be included in the ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) from 2020.”
“I hope the council will push for Islington’s inclusion in the ULEZ as a way to start cleaning up our air with a daily charge for older diesel vehicles. This would be a long overdue and welcome step towards a full ban on diesel and a healthier, diesel-free city.”
She added that diesel particles have been proven to cause cancer, aggravate existing lung conditions and permanently reduce the lung function of growing children.
To find out more about town hall’s bid to battle pollution, including the Air Quality stratgy and 20mph speed limit, visit www.islington.gov.uk/switchitoff