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Engine idling

Date updated: 11/08/2023

Engine idling when parked is illegal

Leaving a vehicle engine running when parked causes unnecessary Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) emissions. The City of London Corporation wants motorists to switch off their engines when their vehicle is parked or stationary for more than a minute.

By switching off your engine, when practical to do so, you help protect your own health and reduce air pollution.

Penalty for non-compliance

There are two ways an authorised officer may issue a fine for leaving an engine running when parked on a highway:

  • Fixed Penalty Notice: the £20 fine must be paid within 28 days, after which the fine increases to £40
  • Penalty Charge Notice: the £40 fine must be paid within 14 days, after which the fine increases to £80

How the City Corporation combats engine idling

  • We respond to complaints and place 'no-idling' signs in hotspot areas
  • We have incorporated no-idling into our Procurement Policies
  • We engage with construction and street work sites to encourage and enforce 'no-idling' deliveries and site management
  • We work with City businesses, including the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Bart's Health to support 'no-idling'.
  • We co-led the Pan-London Idling Action project supported by Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, offering virtual and in-person education and targeted behaviour change interventions for schools, businesses, local authorities, hospitals and other organisations.

Watch Idling Action short video developed for the #EngineOffEveryStop campaign aimed at all London drivers. The campaign visualises the unknown and surprising amount of pollution that can be created from a single idling vehicle engine.

If you know any areas in the City where vehicles are regularly left idling or would like to get involved in the behavioural change campaign, please contact the Air Quality team.

Contact the Air Quality team