Drivers face idling fines for leaving engines running

Redbridge drivers can now be fined for leaving their engine running while parked in a bid to reduce air pollution.

The £60 fine will only be enforced to drivers who refuse to switch off their engines when asked by a council officer.

Signs telling drivers not to leave their engine idling are also currently being installed outside 50 primary schools across the borough.

A report on these and other initiatives to improve the borough’s air quality were presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board yesterday (March 2).

The executive summary of the Air Quality Action Plan states: “Air quality is something that the Council cannot tackle alone. Everyone – from residents to businesses to other public bodies – will need to play their part if we are to make Redbridge’s air clean, safe and healthy again.”

In 2010, almost 400 Redbridge residents are estimated to have died from air pollution, according to a report by Kings College, GLA and TfL – a figure that will only have grown since as pollution increases.

The two most worrying kinds of pollution are nitrogen dioxide, found in denser areas of the borough with more traffic, and particulate matter, highest in the south west of Redbridge, around Wanstead and along main roads.

The report adds: “It is evident that much of the nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter in Redbridge are a result of vehicle emissions and a significant increase in construction activities over the past couple of years. 

“Therefore, a reduction in the number of diesel and petrol vehicles on the road and a reduction in emissions from construction are two of our top priorities.”

The council has also committed to continue planting, particularly in Ilford Town Centre, creating “green walls” as a means to reduce pollution.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter