Air pollution is a global issue and drivers in Norwich are being reminded they can help keep their local air cleaner with one simple action – switching engines off while parked.
Leaving your engine on while waiting in your car (also referred to as ‘stationary idling’), contributes unnecessary emissions that affect levels of air pollution.
For that reason, ‘stationary idling’ is an offence, with many drivers simply not aware they can make a difference by switching off their engine while waiting to pick their children up from school, for passengers to arrive, to ferry their friend to an event – whatever the journey.
From this week, Norwich City Council enforcement officers will be approaching drivers found idling to ask them to switch off their engines. These regulations apply to all vehicles on public roads including private cars, motorbikes, delivery vehicles, taxis and buses.
The regulations, however, do not apply to vehicles:
moving slowly due to road works or congestion
stopped at traffic lights
under test or repair
where the windscreen is being defrosted.
If, and only if, a driver when approached does not comply, they may be issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £20 for the offence.
Council officers will focus enforcement action where the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide are recorded and where people are regularly present and this includes Castle Meadow and St Stephens Street.
Councillor Mike Stonard, cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth says:
“The issue of air pollution can present a real danger to health, so there’s no doubt it’s one we need to address. We know, of course, there is no one solution, but we need to tackle it from a range of angles.
Major investment in more sustainable transport and infrastructure, so people have a full range of travel options is one priority we have made huge strides in but there are also smaller actions we can take in our day-to-day life that, together, add up to making a meaningful impact.
This focus we are taking is absolutely not about penalising drivers, we’re not adopting an automatic fine-issuing approach.
Rather, we are confident that by raising awareness of the issue and how the simple act of switching off an engine can make a real difference, the very vast majority of drivers will comply.”
More information about the fixed penalty notices and the reasons the council’s cabinet agreed to adopt this stance on enforcement can be found at www.norwich.gov.uk/engineswitchoff and the report that was considered at the committee meeting of 14 March.