Switch off that engine — or face a £130 fine says Hackney as it clamps down on idling

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

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

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