Mayor of London urged to address engine idling

London Assembly Members have passed a motion calling on the Mayor and Transport for London to do more to tackle engine idling by drivers in the capital.

Engine idling – when a vehicle’s engine is left running whilst at a stop – is thought to be a major cause of air pollution in areas close to schools, for example, when parents might be waiting to collect children, or during commercial deliveries and collections, when drivers are transferring goods.

London Assembly members are calling for action to tackle engine idling

A number of local authorities have sought to crack down on engine idling in a bid to tackle air pollution – with some even considering fines for persistent idlers.

Assembly members voted unanimously yesterday on a motion to encourage action from City Hall and TfL to tackle engine idling in all road vehicles including private cars, taxis, private hire vehicles, public sector vehicles, buses, coaches, vans and lorries.

Liberal Democrat AM Caroline Pidgeon MBE, who proposed the motion said: “If every car, van, taxi and lorry driver stopped idling it would not end air pollution in London, but it would certainly make a real difference and it is a difference that could be quickly and easily made.

“The Mayor and TfL need to step up their activities and ensure that idling of vehicles and the unnecessary pollution they create becomes a thing of the past.”


Labour AM Tom Copley, who seconded the motion said: “It has been encouraging to see that tackling air pollution in London has been high on the Mayor’s agenda, but it is evident that a lot more needs to be done.

“One of the most significant causes of air pollution is the idling of engines of all road vehicles. Unfortunately, TfL’s previous campaign to address this issue has had limited reach amongst Londoners and failed to yield any significant behavioural changes amongst road users.

“This is why I am calling upon the Mayor to push TfL to deliver more ambitious and effective policies to reduce engine idling, alongside implementing a more extensive public awareness campaign to dissuade road users from allowing their vehicle to idle and exacerbate London’s poor air quality”.