Just three engine idling fines have been paid in a year since Southwark Council announced its crackdown on toxic air pollution, new figures reveal.
In response to a freedom of information request from the Liberal Democrats, the council confirmed that just ten penalty charge notices had been handed out to drivers between February 2018 and January 2019. Three, totalling £120, have been paid so far.
The statistics cast doubt on the new scheme’s effectiveness reducing toxic air pollution which causes asthma, heart disease and lung disease.
Since January last year, parking wardens can now issue £80 fines to parked car, bus, taxi and HGV drivers who refuse or ignore warnings to turn off their engines.
But Southwark Council’s transport head argued the statistics showed the anti-idling campaign was working.
Cllr Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for environment, transport management and air quality, argued: “We introduced vehicle idling enforcement to educate drivers and improve air quality, not to make money.
“Fines are only applied when people refuse to turn off their engines – the law says that we have to ask them first – so no fine equals a win.”