Holborn Voice often likes a walk around our area. We admire the architecture, the diversity of retail businesses many of whom remain independent (we still miss The Lamb Bookshop), and the amount of greenery. We glare at the underused P&D bays and sigh at oversubscribed CA-D. Despite that, we think how lovely it is to live or work in such a nice area. Until... until... at bus stands, outside hotels, even the itinerant ice cream van outside Coram's Fields, we choke over the unnecessary and dangerous fumes from chugging diesel engines when drivers are unwilling or can't be bothered to turn off their engines when stationary.
Islington Council has announced that it will hit drivers who leave their engines running while stationary with £20 on the spot fines for those deemed to be causing unnecessary pollution. Officials claimed they will target buses, lorries and diesel cars in particular. A number of councils across the UK are considering similar measures as they attempt to meet European clean air targets, with almost 20 cities currently forecast to continue exceeding safe levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution until after 2020. Councils gained the power to issue £20 spot fines for idling under the Road Traffic Regulations 2002 but the rule has not been widely enforced.
Camden approved the same policy over a year ago. So where is the enforcement? We understand that officers are preparing an 'update'. Nice. So what about the chugging busses on the stand at the end of Red Lion Square? You'd have thought TfL would have instructions to drivers. Something like 'Turn Off Engine when Stationary'.
Our own ever dynamic Julian Fulbrook (a qualified barrister, amongst many other things) is so frustrated that he's considering a citizens arrest of a London bus. Nothing like citizen action for enforcement. And a justification for our attention grabbing headline.
Perhaps you'd like to see a Camden councillor take dynamic action in support of the borough's own policies. Perhaps Julian can be persuaded to make further arrests elsewhere. If you know of any area or persistant offenders have desiel engines are routinely left running whist the vehicle is stationary (please don't say traffic lights. We mean when parked up!) send a note through the CONTACT US webform and we'll pass it on.