Council introduces fines for idling motorists
Stepping up a gear to tackle air pollution in the borough, the council will issue fixed penalty notices to those motorists caught idling while stationary on a public highway from Monday 23 March.
The notices will be issued by the council’s civil enforcement officers, community safety patrol officers and environmental officers while carrying out their normal duties.
The £20 fines will be a last resort and a notice will only be issued when a motorist refuses to switch off their engine.
It’s been over year a since the council launched its Clean Air Campaign encouraging people in the borough to reduce air pollution by using their vehicles less, to stop idling their car engines and to think about the ways in which they can reduce pollution in their own homes.
The campaign has seen the council and partners work with local schools to encourage parents and children to travel to school differently, reduce idling outside the school gates, work with taxi drivers to reduce idling and encourage the use of ultra-low emission taxi vehicles.
Together with partners including Hampshire County Council’s school travel team, Basingstoke Clean Air Campaign and Stagecoach, the council has also supported awareness and education events giving out over 5,000 anti-idling stickers to motorists to place on their car windows.
The new move to issue fixed penalty notices supports the council’s Climate Emergency declaration last September to work towards a carbon neutral borough by 2030.
Cabinet Member for Environment and Enforcement Cllr Hayley Eachus said: “Leaving your engine on while waiting in your car contributes to unnecessary emissions that affect levels of air pollution and greenhouse gases. Many motorists are simply not aware they can make a difference by switching off their engine while waiting.
“Our primary objective is to raise awareness and educate motorists to switch off their engines while waiting, but it is also important they understand that vehicle idling is an offence. These powers enable us to issue a fixed penalty notice for a fine of £20 and these will be issued by our officers when required.”
For more information on the new powers and what they mean for motorists, why the council is tackling engine idling, information on the Clean Air Campaign and myth busting visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/clean-air