Currently reading: £20 fine for engine idling being adopted by numerous councils
Latest air quality measure means you could be hit with a £20 fine for leaving your engine running while parked

A new measure to prevent drivers from leaving their engines idling while parked is gaining traction in multiple areas of the country.

Councils in Nottingham, Norwich, Reading and London have all adopted the on-the-spot fines, and the Times reports that 30 further areas are planning to introduce them, in a bid to improve air quality in the UK’s urban areas

The fines are aimed partly at parents picking up and dropping off their children at school; this contributes to spikes in pollution in those areas

A new study carried out by King’s College London highlighted the dangers of car pollution for those living in affected areas, claiming a seven-week life expectancy increase for those born after air quality legislation was introduced. 

The RAC's head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: “With the spotlight firmly on reducing pollution in urban areas, we welcome a focus on reducing unnecessary engine idling. The correct procedure should be for an enforcement officer to ask the driver to switch their engine off, and if they refuse, they will be issued a penalty. Idling engines can produce up to twice the amount of emissions of an engine in motion, and for drivers it can mean higher fuel bills."

It’s the latest charge in the name of air quality, with the T-Charge costing London drivers £10 daily if they’re at the wheel of the pre-Euro 4 car, petrol or diesel. 

Other parties have suggested alternative measures, though. A health group previously suggested the removal of traffic calming measures in residential areas, to prevent the pollution caused by the on-off braking and accelerating associated with them.

Read more:

£10 T-charge for high polluting vehicles starts in London today

Defra launches car-friendly extension to air quality plan

Opinion: New UK air quality plans – a step in the right direction

Government air quality plans confusing consumers, says JLR UK boss


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Jayhutch 21 October 2018


I got done Friday night I just pulled up I was there for 3minutes I’ve never heard of this before, knock at the window asked to turn of the engine so I did, issued a £80 fine to pay with in 14days or £50 in 10 days and the whole time they was there they was  parked on  double yellow lines, 1. Should I of been issued with a fine even when I turned off engine when asked. 2. Are they above the law where they are aloud to park on double yellows? 

martin_66 6 August 2018

Utterly pointless

Exactly who will enforce this?

Leaving your engine running while stationary is already an offence.  Nobody enforces it.

Exceeding the speed limit is an offence.  Nobody enforces it.

Using a mobile phone while at the wheel is an offence.  Nobody enforces it.

It is completely pointless to have any laws in place, or even remind people about specific offences, if Government and Council cutbacks have meant that there is nobody around to enforce them.

russ13b 5 August 2018


doesn't always stop. will they send the penalty fee to the manufacturer?

Peter Cavellini 5 August 2018


 Stop/start, Engine only off for a few minutes than starts again, in hot Weather your Engine needs cooled so Stop/Start doesn’t work then.