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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

To help change behaviour in the long term, idling engine action days are held in the City where trained City residents, partners and staff patrol the streets asking drivers to switch off when parked.

Action days have been rolled out across 18 London Boroughs with the support of the Mayor's Air Quality Fund.

The Action Days receive wide media coverage including BBC Radio 4, BBC's 'The One Show' and BBC London.

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

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