The latest in the long list of everyday driving habits to now garner a fine has now been in effect in the capital for a month. ‘Air Marshals” will now be set to patrol Westminster issuing motorists who are idling with an £80 fine, as London looks to clamp down in dangerous and harmful emissions from cars.
These marshalls are issuing these fines for ‘idling’ as any form of leaving the engine running while the vehicle isn’t in motion, meaning the new #DontBeIdle scheme will effect delivery drivers, taxis and members of the public if they don’t switch their engines off when not moving.
This is coming from a number of schemes being introduced across the country to reduce the amount of air pollution emitted on Britain’s roads – even including the proposal to scrap speed bumps. It is estimated that when a car is idling while parked, it emits enough dangerous and harmful chemicals to fill up to 150 balloons per minute.
Schemes such as #DontBeIdle have been introduced in Westminster and other London boroughs alongside a number of crackdowns on old diesel vehicles. This has included a parking surcharge in pay and display car parks and the 50% increase on the charge of pre-2015 diesel models to park since April. Possibly one of the most dramatic is the diesel surcharge in Islington, introduced in 2015, which saw an additional £96 being added to diesel driver’s residents parking permits.
In promotion for the campaign, Westminster City Council released a statement on what caused the scheme to come about; “Vehicles such as buses, taxis, vans, cars and delivery vehicles account for over half of the most deadly emissions in the air. 370 million miles are driven in Westminster each year, the distance to Jupiter, it’s not surprising that Westminster suffers from some of the worst pollution in Europe.”
As well as this, David Harvey, cabinet member for environment, sports and community, commented that poor air quality was their residents’ number one concern. Do you think this is a worthwhile campaign to stop motorists from idling?