New measures to ‘cut pollution’
Motorists will face a £20 fine if they are sat in a stationary car with the engine running, the new penalty will come into force on 1st May and will apply in two London boroughs. The crackdown is aimed at cutting pollution and will be enforced by a squad of ‘traffic marshals’. Approximately one hundred officials will be deployed in the London boroughs and other councils across the country will be expected to follow suit to meet strict European environmental targets. Westminster alone will have eighty-five traffic marshals at any one time when the new scheme is introduced.
Local residents and businesses have great concerns about the air quality in London but the London Taxi Drivers Association said the move would not help London’s air pollution problem. Other motoring organisations agree and have said the real problem is emissions coming from large vehicles.
A policy is already in force within Camden Council who fine buses that are idle for too long and Islington Council also fine for idling vehicles. Reports show that Westminster has the highest proportion of deaths attributed to air pollution excluding the City of London. A monitoring station for air pollution in Oxford Street recorded that acceptable limit for air pollution had been broken 1503 times last year.
Fine increase to £40 if not paid within 28 days
The fines of £20 will increase to £40 if not paid within 28 days and are intended to be a ‘last resort’ if drivers refuse to turn off their vehicles. Parents outside the school gates, on quick shopping runs and station pick ups will most probably fall prey to the fines rather than those motorist stuck in traffic or at red lights.