The Government has set its sights on toughening up rules on vehicle idling, with heavier fines for drivers who leave their engine running while parked.
Idling is when a vehicle’s engine is left running while it is stationary for a period of time – increasing use of fuel, emissions and noise levels.
The DfT says vehicle idling is a major factor in poor air quality, particularly in areas where there are large numbers of stationary vehicles.
The new plans – which would represent the biggest change to the rules since 2002 – will also provide guidance to local authorities on their anti-idling powers, enabling them to enforce the law more effectively.
It is hoped the move will reduce ‘unnecessary air pollution’ outside schools, taxi ranks and bus stations.
Chris Grayling, transport secretary, said: “We are determined to crack down on drivers who pollute our communities by leaving their engines running, particularly outside school gates where our children are breathing in this toxic air.
“Putting a stop to idling is an easy way to drive down dangerously high levels of pollution, reducing its impact on the environment and our health.”
The Government plans will be put out for consultation later this year.