H&F tackles air pollution with new powers to fine idling motorists

H&F Council will use new powers to fine motorists who pollute the borough by leaving their engines running.

H&F Council will use new powers to fine motorists who pollute the borough by leaving their engines running.

The powers form part of an experimental traffic order which comes into effect from 1 November and will last 18 months. They will then be reviewed, with the potential to be made permanent.

The change is part of the council’s drive to become the greenest borough in Britain and will help tackle poor air quality in areas of the borough where traffic pollution is highest.

The council’s traffic wardens will now be able to issue a £40 PCN to motorists who have stopped with their engine idling in parking and loading bays, taxi ranks, or any roads where waiting is restricted. The fine will increase to £80 if not paid within 14 days.

“This is a major advancement in stopping motorists needlessly polluting our streets and helping us become the greenest borough in Britain,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for the Environment.

“Previously, we could ask motorists to switch off, or face a £20 fine, which was not enough of a deterrent. So now we’re taking a harder line to help reduce the harm from air pollution to our residents.

“We’re particularly keen to reduce the effects of nitrogen dioxide on children in the borough, who are often at higher risk, due to being closer to the height of exhaust fumes.”

The council will review the experimental scheme and if considered successful it could be made permanent.

Previous action

H&F Council’s civil enforcement officers have worked with other organisations on several ‘anti-idling action days’, where council staff and local volunteers spoke to idling drivers asking them to switch off their engines.

In 2015 the council formed the residents-led Air Quality Commission to investigate the problem of air pollution in H&F, causes and dangers, and explore possible solutions.

You can read the findings in the H&F air quality commission report.

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