Southwark council has warned drivers that they could face an Â£80 penalty charge from today (31 January) if they fail to switch their engines off when parked.
Council parking enforcement officers will be issuing Penalty Charge Notices to the drivers of parked-up car, bus, taxi and HGV drivers, who refuse to switch off their engines when asked, as part of a concerted campaign against vehicle idling.
The council has led and encouraged a number of voluntary anti-idling patrols at known idling hot-spots, to raise driver awareness of the health risks associated with engine idling.
According to the council, volunteers found that most drivers turned off their idling engines willingly, when they were made aware of the implications of keeping them running.
Cllrs Maisie Anderson, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Social Regeneration, and Ian Wingfield, Cabinet Member for Environment and the Public Realm, joined head teacher Anita Asumadu at Oliver Goldsmith Primary School to mark the launch of the councilâ€™s new anti-engine idling enforcement today, 31 January.
Cllr Maisie Anderson said: â€œNeedlessly keeping your engine running pollutes roads, schools and childrenâ€™s lungs. Asking people to turn off their engine will help create a healthier environment for the children of the borough.
â€œDrivers will be warned before a fine is issued, but ultimately if they ignore the warning and signs, the parking wardens will have to take action.â€
This is the latest measure from Southwark Councilâ€™s ambitious Air Quality Strategy and Action Plan, which is part of a commitment to improve air quality in the borough. The council has pledged additional action throughout the year, including the installation of electric vehicle charging points.
Anita Asumadu, head teacher at Oliver Goldsmith School, said: â€œClean air would improve the health of the children at our school and everyone can help.
â€œThe best way to improve your health is to choose to cycle or walk, but another effective way to reduce pollution is by switching off idling engines.â€