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New crackdown planned on idling drivers

The Government is planning to introduce tougher penalties for drivers who leave their engines running while stationary.

Vehicle idling is a major factor in poor air quality, especially in places with a lot of waiting vehicles – such as outside schools, at taxi ranks and bus stations – and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said he intended to launch a public consultation into increasing fines for idling drivers.

Councils already have the ability to fine drivers, but the Department for Transport is looking at toughening up those powers to try and put a stop to unnecessary air pollution.

“We are determined to crack down on drivers who pollute our communities by leaving their engines running, particularly outside school gates,” Chris Grayling said.

The plans – which would be the biggest change to the rules since 2002 – will give guidance to local authorities on their anti-idling powers as well, enabling them to enforce the law more effectively.

The consultation, expected to launch this summer, will also explore how to deal with repeat offenders who keep their engines running despite several warnings.