New measures to tackle air quality issues in central London could see fines for drivers stuck in traffic.
Westminster City Council is running a campaign to raise awareness about the environmental and health dangers of vehicle idling.
And from February 4 repeat offenders run the risk of being slapped with a fixed penalty notice (FPN).
The council says as well as polluting the air, engine idling can also create a noisy environment, particularly affecting residents and local businesses.
As part of its pro-active approach, council “air marshals” have been speaking to drivers about how engine idling harms the environment, while its regular no idling action days have seen more than 50 locals trained to become “Air Quality Champions”, who have gone on to speak to more than 600 drivers in air pollution hot spots.
While most drivers heed the message from the champions, those who ignore calls to cut their car engines when they are not moving may be served a FPN.
Council member for sustainability and parking, Heather Acton, said: “Our residents and visitors are concerned about pollution.
“Improving air quality is high on the agenda for Westminster City Council.
"We need to tackle these harmful effects on our health, while also understanding the needs of those who move around central London.
“By speaking to drivers, making them aware of how, by switching their engine off when they are not moving, they can help cut air pollution, we can be more mindful of our impact upon the environment and our health.
“These small steps are essential if we are to move towards a healthier, more liveable city which residents, visitors and workers can enjoy.”
It is one of several methods being used by the local authority to tackle poisonous fumes in our air.
All new black cabs licensed from 2018 will have to be zero-emissions capable, while no new diesel taxis will be allowed.
And the council is also expanding electric vehicle infrastructure in the borough, which aims to help encourage more people to leave polluting vehicles for electric vehicles.
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