Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Council says it is too difficult to enforce car idling powers that other council have managed to do.

This evening I asked Maidstone Borough Council: "Given the Council’s stated ‘Anti Idling Campaign’, has the Council adopted the powers provided by Regulation 12 of The Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002 to enforce the switching off of engines when vehicles are stationary on the road?"


They responded that the legislation was 'impractical', i.e. too vague and difficult to enforce. Perhaps they could look at how other councils have done this such as Newcastle, Haringey and Nottingham.

They also disputed mortality figures from Public Health when I quoted the estimated death toll in the borough due to air pollution.

This is simply unacceptable and smacks of complacency. 

Air pollution is a real threat to public health and Maidstone has the 5th worst air pollution in the country outside London. The councils plans are clearly lacking in effect or grip. There are people regularly idling outside schools, at junctions and in traffic jams. There is simply no need for this. It is illegal for them to do so and it is harming people's health. 

The council must reflect on its failure to act and must put into place measures to stop this illegal pollution.  

This is the legislation:

Under Regulation 98 of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, it is an offence to leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a road.
Since 2002, under Regulation 12 of The Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002Local Authorities have been given the powers to enforce the switching off of engines when vehicles are stationary on the road.  This enables local authorities to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) to a driver who is committing an offense by idling their vehicle’s engine. 

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