Thanet Council considering fines for engine idling

As part of their drive to tackle traffic-related air pollution, Thanet District Council are considering allowing enforcement officers to issue fixed penalty notices to motorists who allow their engines to idle unnecessarily.

Silver Car with Black Exhaust Pipe

The proposals will be considered by the Cabinet and, if approved, would be introduced around local schools and within Air Quality Management Areas.

It seems, however, that motorists will be warned in the first instance and have the consequences of their actions explained to them, with enforcement following for repeat offenders.  The new powers would mean officers could issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £20, rising to £40 if not paid within 28 days.

The recommendations within the report ask the Cabinet to:

  • Approve the implementation and enforcement of provisions relating to anti-idling as laid down by the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002.
  • Delegate authority to the Director of Environment to authorise relevant officers or persons to stop the commission of stationary idling offences and issue fixed penalty notices in respect of such offences, in accordance with Regulation 6(3) of the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002.
  • Agree for Fees & Charges for 2024/25 to be varied to reflect this decision; with new charges for Vehicle Emissions Fixed Penalty Notices of £20, rising to £40 if not paid within 28 days.

Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr Heather Keen, said: ‘The council is committed to doing what we can to protect our environment. Although we’re fortunate that Thanet has good air quality, at peak times when traffic builds up, so does associated pollution from burning fossil fuels. The morning rush hour is of particular concern as children are exposed to roadside pollutants on their way to school.

‘Leaving engines to idle not only burns climate changing fossil fuels, it also produces nitrogen dioxide and fine particles exposing children with asthma and older people with respiratory conditions to the harmful effects of pollution.

‘Introducing these new powers will provide the opportunity to raise public awareness around these issues and crucially, if drivers don’t comply, will mean we can take action to address this. I will be strongly encouraging my Cabinet colleagues to approve the proposals.’

Paul Day
Paul is the editor of Public Sector News.


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