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Volunteers preparing to go out onto the streets to talk to drivers about no-idling
    Clean Air poster promoting the importance of not idling

Why are idling vehicle engines a problem in the City

Leaving a vehicle engine running when parked causes unnecessary air pollution. The Square Mile is an Air Quality Management Area so action to reduce emissions is paramount. The City Corporation therefore asks drivers to switch off of their engines when parked for a minute or more.

​Idling Engine Action Days

From 2016 – 2019, the City of London Corporation lead on an idling engine campaign to help change behaviour in the long term. With support of the Mayor's Air Quality Fund  idling engine action days were held in the City and 18 London Boroughs. Trained residents, partners and staff patrolled the streets asking drivers to switch off when parked. The Idling Action Final Report (2.1MB) summaries the impact of this project over the last three years.

The project is now being revamped and the City Corporation, joint with London Borough of Camden, are leading a pan-London idling campaign across 32 boroughs for the next 2 years.

Please visit Idling Action or email the Air Quality team if you would like to get involved in this behaviour change campaign.

Other action to deal with Engine Idling

  • We work with City businesses, including the Cheapside Business Alliance and Bart's Health to support 'no-idling'
  • We engage with construction and street work sites to encourage and enforce 'no-idling' deliveries and site management
  • We have incorporated no-idling into the City's Procurement Policies
  • We respond to complaints and logs hot-spot areas for targeted action (placing signs asking drivers to switch off)
  • We place 'no-idling' signs in hotspot areas

​Fixed Penalty Notices

Although the City Corporation has focussed on awareness raising to change behaviour in the long term, the City Corporation also has an enforcement role. Subject to certain restrictions, any driver of a motor vehicle parked on the highway who refuses to switch off their engine if asked by an authorised officer can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

The £20 fine must be paid within 28 days, after which the fine increases to £40.

If you are aware of any areas of the City that vehicles are regularly left idling, please notify the pollution team on 020 7332 3030 or email the Air Quality team