Sheffield city council is considering the potential for the enforcement of ‘no-idling zones’ in a bid to improve air quality in the city, and could fine drivers who fail to switch off their engines.
The city council has launched a consultation on the potential introduction of byelaws that would seek to establish ‘no vehicle idling’ areas outside schools, hospitals, care homes and other locations within the city.
Views are being sought from residents on the measure, which was one of a host of recommendations put forward for local authorities to tackle air pollution in guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) last week (see airqualitynews.com story).
The consultation opened yesterday (5 July) and runs until 31 August.
According to the city council in order to undertake enforcement and issue fines, it would need to progress a local byelaw.
The city council’s AirAware campaign has been highlighting the ‘Switch off when you drop off’ message to parents taking their children to school by car and has given head teachers the opportunity to have a free banner outside their school to promote the issue.
Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport at Sheffield city council, said: “Polluted air is a major public health hazard in many parts of the country, particularly affecting the very young and very old in our city. As the High Court has said, the UK government has not taken anything like enough action in this area and is putting lives at risk.
“Even so, there are some actions which we can look to take now. There’s no reason for drivers to leave engines idling at any time, but especially near schools, care homes and hospitals.
“So we’re going to consult with schools, drivers and Sheffield residents about introducing measures that can improve air quality outside areas where it’s most needed. I hope as many people as possible get involved with this and have their say.
“Sheffield City Council will continue to push the Government to take real national action on poor air quality.”
According to the council, measures in Sheffield could mirror those implemented by Westminster city council where, since February 2017, £80 penalty charge notices are issued for those idling in “no idling” zones.
Sheffield idling consultation