London Evening Standard)
Motorists who pump out toxic fumes in central London by leaving their engine idling are to face an £80 fine.
Westminster council will enfore the regime from February 4. Drivers of cars, van, coaches and taxis will be penalised if they leave engines idling for more than a minute while parked up.
Teams of “air marshals” will record the registration numbers of polluting vehicles. Offenders will typically receive three written warnings before being given an on-the-spot £80 penalty, falling to £40 if paid within 14 days.
Heather Acton, Westminster council’s cabinet member for sustainability and parking, said: “By speaking to drivers, making them aware of how, by switching their engine off when they are not moving, they can help cut air pollution, we can be more mindful of our impact on the environment and our health.”
The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association is backing the policy. All new black cabs licensed from January 1 next year will have to be zero-emissions-capable, and no new diesel taxis will be allowed.
Merton council is to introduce higher parking permit charges for diesel vehicles to curb pollution — while setting permit fees for electric vehicles at a discounted rate of £25 per year.