Hundreds more signs warn drivers to switch off engines – but only one person fined

Hundreds more ‘no idling’ signs are to be put up around Sheffield – despite only one motorist being fined since the scheme was introduced a year ago.

Monday, 8th July 2019, 1:55 pm
Hundreds more no-idling signs are being put up

The council introduced anti-idling areas last August with 600 signs at 150 schools advising motorists they could be fined if they left their engines running. Enforcement officers can hand out a £20 fixed penalty notice.

Now another 600 signs are going to be placed around secondary schools, taxi ranks and hospitals. 

The Green Party says the scheme is “failing” because there’s no enforcement but Labour says it’s determined to tackle pollution around schools.

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Coun Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport, said: “We are not pussyfooting around.

“I would have stuck enforcement cameras up if I could but under legislation, drivers have to be given the opportunity to turn off their engine and only fined if they refuse to comply.

“We have come up with a raft of proposals to cut down on pollution around schools and it’s one of my priorities. I am determined to clamp down on it.”

But the Green Party said it was being left to parents to try to enforce the scheme.

Gleadless Valley councillor Paul Turpin said: “The council’s anti-idling policy is failing as there is almost no enforcement. This means either school staff have to police the streets outside schools, or parents do.

“Leaving parents to deal with idling cars at schools causes division and conflict. I, like many parents, have had my fair share of threats and abuse from people offended when someone asks them to turn their engines off.

“Children are not only exposed to dangerous air pollution but also to aggressive and abusive behaviour. 

“More signs will not work on their own. Enforcement must be increased to protect children outside schools.

“I would also like to see comprehensive education in schools on air quality and the climate crisis. We must expect everyone to play their part in dealing with these issues.”