On The Spot Fine Proposed For Leaving Your Engine Running

Wed 15th May 2019

Drivers in London could soon receive on the spot fines for leaving their vehicle ‘idling’ while parked.

Westminster City Council is pushing for a change in the existing regulations which allow for a fine of £20 to £80, but only if drivers ignore an initial warning and remain stationary. The harsher punishments are being proposed as part of a push to reduce pollution in major cities.

Eighteen different local London authorities have been involved in ‘idling action events’, which have focused on asking drivers to switch off their engine when parked, and a spokesman is hoping education on the matter will help reduce the issue: “We want to take action to improve the air quality for our community and its visitors, by eliminating engine idling from the areas of highest pollution in the city.

"It’s an issue that affects everyone, so everyone should care. By making this small change we can all make a big difference."

Westminster sees 370 million miles driven through its streets every year, and though it is one of the most pro-active in terms of enforcement, it still only issued 20 fines last year. The council estimates that one minute of exhaust emissions is enough to fill 150 balloons.

A spokesperson for The Department for Transport said: “We are determined to reduce the damaging environmental impacts of drivers who keep their engines running while stationary, especially those in school zones.

"This is why we are making guidance for local authorities clearer, so that they know how and when to target drivers falling foul of the law. We will be polling local authorities to understand how any potential review of these powers may look in the future.”