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​No idling – our children’s air is too important

Press release   •   Jan 15, 2020 16:51 GMT

Council leaders have urged the Government to take measures to tackle the health threat caused by engine idling, especially outside schools.

Councillor Alan Quinn, Bury Council’s cabinet member for the environment, has signed a letter to transport minister Grant Shapps calling for action.

Currently councils have the powers to impose a £20 fine on drivers leaving their engine idling, but only if the driver fails to turn off their engine when asked to do so by an enforcement officer.

Cllr Quinn said the Government promised a consultation last year on proposals to impose tougher fines on people who leave their engines running while parked. He called for stronger anti-idling legislation to be just one part of the package of new local powers promised in the Environment Bill.

He added: “We carry out targeted patrols at schools where there are particular problems with bad driving and parking, which does have some effect. However, there are more than 60 schools across Bury, and the problems return when we move our officers to monitor another school elsewhere in the borough.

“Ultimately we need parents to acknowledge the impact that idling vehicles have on local air quality, and for them to switch their engine off while parked. We all have to take action if we are to make a real long-term difference to our children’s health.”

The call for action on engine idling is part of the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan to cut emissions and reduce pollution.

ENDS

Press release issued: 15 January 2020.

Picture: Cllr Alan Quinn signs the letter to transport minister Grant Shapps calling for action on clean air.