Archived on 6/5/2022

Drivers who leave cars idling while stationary will be fined £60
19 Sep '19

24 Sep '19

Bridie Witton, Local Democracy Reporter, had written an article on this which explains how it will work and when:

Enforcement officers will be able to issue penalty charges while on patrol for any car stopped in the street with its engine running. Motorists sat in parked vehicles leaving their engines running will be asked to switch their engines off. If they do not do so within three minutes, they will face a £60 fine.

Councillors expect to start issuing the fines from December, once enforcement officers have been trained.

Interestingly the RAC note that idling could already receive a £20 fine under 2002 legislation. From

Rule 123 of The Highway Code looks at ‘The Driver and the Environment’, stating that drivers must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.

Local authorities have the power to issue £20 fixed penalties for emission offences and stationary idling under The Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002.

However, it is important to note that this is imposed only if a motorist refuses to switch off their engine off when asked to do so by an authorised person.

24 Sep '19

Hello, thanks for posting the article. Yes, idling has been illegal for a while, just hardly enforced.

24 Sep '19

as I read this the extent of it is that they:

  • have increased the price of the fine from £20 to £60
  • are training enforcement officers

We are left with:

  • no deterrent to idling (in the first instance)
  • little or no income gained (I can’t imagine many of the kind of people who would ignore the warning will be easy to collect the fine from)

I just wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to spend the money on public awareness / advertising etc… On the other hand these ‘enforcement officers’ might function as highly targeted ‘salesmen’.

24 Sep '19

I think your summary is about right @Beige.

Looking at the Bank of England Inflation Calculator, £20 in 2002 is about £30 in 2018. So effectively Lewisham has doubled the fine and now say they plan to enforce it, with the problems you point out.

One place idling is a more observed problem is around schools, but previous efforts would seem to have asked parents to switch off already. I guess it’s to be seen if a threat or actual £60 fine will improve behaviour.

25 Sep '19

I wonder how they will tell if the car is running? Sure, Duster is pretty obvious but a smaller petrol car is all but inaudible.

26 Sep '19

I know air quality is a major issue, but to be honest I’d quite like it if they put some resource into enforcing the speed limit as well. Am starting to feel I may be the only person driving down perry vale at 20mph!

26 Sep '19

I’m not surprised! I’m amazed at the speed of drivers on Woolstone Road. With cars parked on both sides there is barely room for 2-way traffic let lone when there’s a 75 bus on one side or the other.

6 Oct '19

The council openly admit that they don’t have resources to enforce parking except in high priority areas and CPZs. The chances of them enforcing fines for anti-idling are zero. It is a shame as many of the worst streets for idling are residential streets with schools. It is a case of one person harming many people, pedestrians, cyclists and residents with their noxious fumes. It looks like it is not a high priority so the only solution would be for the local pedestrians, cyclists and residents to ask for a CPZ in these streets so it would get enforced :grinning:

6 Oct '19

Perhaps the council would consider evidence submitted in the form of videos posted electronically by members of the public? Would cut down on expense for the council and would be very satisfying for long-suffering parents and their children I’m sure!

6 Oct '19

No, unfortunately wardens have to enforce this. The council always encourages people to contact them with evidence but they can’t really do much without a warden present.

6 Oct '19

Is this anecdotal, or an official statement? I thought parking enforcement paid for itself.

11 Oct '19
12 Oct '19

I had a major row with my mother’s branch of Tesco a couple of years back. As I arrived in the car park another car pulled up behind me and the driver got out and went into the store, leaving his engine running. He had no passengers and I assume he wasn’t worried if anyone stole his car.

I was a bit stunned so hadn’t said anything to him. Instead I asked at the customer service desk if they would put out an announcement reminding people not to leave their engines running while they were in the store. The manager who didn’t bother to come to talk to me personally (at that stage!) refused. He said they couldn’t tell people what to do. I asked for the manager’s name. The shop assistant (who wasn’t wearing a name badge) refused to give me either his name or the store manager’s name.

I made the stupid mistake of trying to take the anonymous shop assistant’s photo, whereupon he grabbed my hand and twisted my arm so my phone hit the floor. There was quite the scene. I haven’t shopped at Tesco since.

Niger Havers has had success persuading drivers to turn off their engines. But I wonder if he’s tried Tesco.

The Government legislation only applies to public streets. Not to private property like supermarket car parks. And the policewoman who dealt with the assault was vile to me and supportive of Tesco’s violent shop assistant.

I hope LBL has more luck than I did.

12 Oct '19

I once had a neighbour who used to start up his motorbike very early in the morning, then leave it revving while he went inside for at least 10 or 15minutes before leaving his flat. As the noise woke me every morning, I asked him, politely, to desist. Some time later I overheard his wife giving reasons as to why they wanted to sell, one of those reasons being that people were complaining about the revving of his motor bike! (I was not the only complainant).
21 Jan '20

Council workers are currently out in Bell Green holding placards asking drivers not to let their engines idle while stationary

23 Jan '20

The government should increase the incentives for electric cars if they really cared but then the planet would instead be poisoned by lithium production pollution by the massive increase in battery production needed. The only way to save the planet long term is population control.

23 Jan '20

Hydrogen could be pretty good if the hurdles to safe handling and use can be overcome. You can split water to make it (with O2 as a bi-product), and oxidise it back into pure water.

I think I did a calculation a while back and found that you’d need a liquid hydrogen fuel tank twice the size of a petrol tank to store the same amount of energy, but that tank would be 1/10th of the weight. I’m guessing an electric motor and transmission is much more efficient than an internal combustion engine too (hence Diesel-electric locomotives?).

Maybe we are in a golden age of advances in electric vehicles for motor and control technology, but the power source is yet to have it’s day?

23 Jan '20

For those who are interested, we have a discussion on hydrogen power in our opt-in “Geeks” group on the forum