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Hounslow joins London-wide crackdown on engine idling drivers

Drivers who leave their engines running whilst parked will be asked to turn them off for Hounslow’s first Idling Action week under a new pan-London clampdown

Published: Thursday, 20th February 2020

Picture of a car idling

Officers from the London Borough of Hounslow, air quality volunteers and pupils from local schools, will be speaking with drivers about the harmful effects caused by vehicle emissions – and asking them to turn their engines off when stationary. Drivers will be given information leaflets to help them understand their role in making the air we breathe healthier for all Londoners. 

Oriel Academy in Hanworth and Worple Primary in Isleworth are the first schools to get involved this year with workshops and action events planned for the 25 and 27 of February respectively. Children will learn about pollution and its effects and get the opportunity to measure particulates using a handheld sensor. They will also be designing their own anti-idling campaign materials which will be used to create a banner to be displayed outside the school gates.  The Idling Action project, led by the City of London Corporation and Camden Council, sees Hounslow join forces with the other 31 London authorities in a bid to cut dangerous vehicle emissions. 

All participating boroughs are now required to adopt idling enforcement procedures if they have not already done so – and drivers face on the spot fines if they don’t turn off their engines when asked. The charge to the motorist is £60, but if this is paid within 14 days it is reduced to £30. It applies to any driver of a motor vehicle parked on the highway who refuses to switch off their engine when asked by a Civil Enforcement Officer. The project, funded by the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund, will also see Hounslow and the other boroughs teaming up to run air pollution anti-idling workshops with schools, engage with businesses and deliver training to fleet managers and drivers about air pollution. If your school is interested in participating in the workshop and action events or you have a business interested in fleet training, please contact transport.planning@hounslow.gov.uk 

Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Climate Emergency at Hounslow Council said: As someone who cycles regularly in the borough, I am very aware of motorists leaving cars running while in traffic jams, parked or just waiting outside the school gates for their children. I am therefore delighted that pupils from two of our schools are helping educate motorists about pollution and its consequences. This action complements enforcement measures introduced by the council last year, which allow us to issue fines to motorists who leave their engines idling. I congratulate the Vehicle Idling Action group who are fronting this campaign and will do everything I can in my capacity as Lead Member for Air Quality and the Climate Emergency to improve the situation here in Hounslow.” 

Deputy Mayor for Environment, Shirley Rodrigues, said: Toxic air in London is a health emergency that requires bold action and the Mayor and I are determined to help every Londoner breathe cleaner air. The Mayor is proud to have funded this first ever city-wide initiative to stamp out engine idling on London’s streets. In Hounslow and across the capital, it will make a real difference cleaning up our polluted air.” 

Jeremy Simons, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, said:

“This project takes us one step closer to eliminating a completely unnecessary source of air pollution. By working together, the capital’s local authorities are bringing down air pollution on our streets. Cleaning up toxic air is one of the most important priorities for the public health of Londoners. We are determined to see a major improvement in air quality, right across the capital. Together, we are taking bold and practical steps to combat air pollution at a local level.” 

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden said:

“Engine idling represents an easily avoidable source of health-damaging air pollution which is often concentrated around our most vulnerable residents; at schools, hospitals and health centres. The London Idling Action project will help us to reduce air pollution from engine idling, as well as engaging with our local communities and schools, and across London in the fight to improve air quality and protect health. Camden is determined to achieve the World Health Organization air quality standards and this behaviour change project plays an important part in this process, combined with our ongoing work to strengthen the enforcement regime for engine idling offences.”

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