Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay :::

New powers on motorists idling are to be considered as part of Thanet Council’s drive to tackle traffic-related air pollution which could see enforcement officers able to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to drivers who allow their engines to run unnecessarily while their vehicle is stationary.

The proposals will be considered by the Cabinet when they meet on Thursday 30 May and if approved, would be introduced around schools and within Air Quality Management Areas.

This approach will focus primarily on education and raising public awareness rather than enforcement, but where advice has been ignored, these new powers would mean officers could then issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £20, rising to £40 if not paid within 28 days. 

The recommendations within the report ask the Cabinet to:

  • Approve the implementation and enforcement of provisions relating to anti-idling as laid down by the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002. 
  • Delegate authority to the Director of Environment to authorise relevant officers or persons to stop the commission of stationary idling offences and issue fixed penalty notices in respect of such offences, in accordance with Regulation 6(3) of the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002. 
  • Agree for Fees & Charges for 2024/25 to be varied to reflect this decision; with new charges for Vehicle Emissions Fixed Penalty Notices of £20, rising to £40 if not paid within 28 days.

Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr Heather Keen, said:

“The council is committed to doing what we can to protect our environment. Although we’re fortunate that Thanet has good air quality, at peak times when traffic builds up, so does associated pollution from burning fossil fuels. The morning rush hour is of particular concern as children are exposed to roadside pollutants on their way to school.

“Leaving engines to idle not only burns climate changing fossil fuels, it also produces nitrogen dioxide and fine particles exposing children with asthma and older people with respiratory conditions to the harmful effects of pollution.  

“Introducing these new powers will provide the opportunity to raise public awareness around these issues and crucially, if drivers don’t comply, will mean we can take action to address this. I will be strongly encouraging my Cabinet colleagues to approve the proposals.”

Cllr Heather Keen

By Ed

©2024 Hawkinge Gazette       -       The Hawkinge Gazette is not responsible for the content of external sites