Switch off — or face a huge fine plans anti-idling Hackney. But there is a big delay

Kingsland©DA0818: pedestrians cross traffic-jammed Kingsland Hi St Dalston Hackney E8 Sat 250818 © david.altheer@gmail.com

* Update June 2020: for reasons Hackney council is now attributing to lockdown, Loving Dalston was given information that became premature when the Covid-19 lockdown began. Sustainability councillor Jon Burke now tells me that he has not yet but will introduce a traffic management order to allow fines of £130 for motorists who idle their engines without good reason. The suggestion would have to be approved by his council colleagues. — Editor


DRIVERS IN HACKNEY will be fined £130 if they let their engines idle after being asked to switch them off, Loving Dalston can exclusively reveal. 

The council told Loving Dalston that from next month March 2020, “Idling motorists who refuse to turn their engine off after being asked will be issued with a penalty charge notice of £130”. 

Council enforcement officers, and volunteers, will be trained to explain to motorists the dangers of leaving an engine running unnecessarily while parked.

Idle words or the start of a campaign? Sign in Chapel Market, Islington

Hackney has acted determinedly to minimise idling at Dalston (high street pictured at top), Hackney Central, Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill and Finsbury Park pollution hotspots. 

Measures include the gradual introduction of restrictions on cars entering streets at some schools’ opening and closing times. 

About 10,000 people a year are believed to die prematurely from London’s petrol and diesel fumes.

The present penalty charge, £20, is rarely levied. One of the most active enforcers, Westminster city council, last year issued 20 fines.

Camden and the City of London last year ordered a clampdown on engine idling and other London boroughs are stepping up enforcement.

Loving Dalston asked other boroughs around Hackney whether they intend to  pick up on the City-Camden-Hackney initiative.

Islington council said it has had a team of officers asking drivers to turn off idling engines, with the power to issue fines, since 2011.

Waltham Forest council said officers and volunteers spoke with drivers to educate them about the pollution caused by allowing engines to idle. Officers had the power to fine drivers who failed to switch off when asked.

At time of writing, Newham and Tower Hamlets had not responded.

Sustainability councillor Jon Burke said: “At Hackney council we’re committed to tackling London’s toxic air, whether that’s through our ever-expanding School Streets programme, our extensive network of air-quality monitoring stations or our new programme to tackle idling, which is funded by the Mayor of London.”

David Altheer 050220

Tesla©DA19angle: © david.altheer@gmail.com Tesla model S(price from £81,200) provided by Hackney council for its speaker, outside LBH town hall, Lon E8 221212

* Backstory: Hackney limo glides on, regardless of austerity; Arrest that idling, orders Met; Hackney means green; Tailgating at a Hackney supermart; Bollards! Keeping cars off a Hackney path; Enough of dirty Dalston. Pictures © DavidAltheer @gmail. com. All for sale via that eddress.

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. A link in no way expresses support for any site.

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