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Cut city pollution by tackling the car idlers' says Cambridge councillor

By Ben Comber

Drivers might not know that leaving a vehicle running while stationary and out of traffic is illegal.

Cambridge City Council has agreed to consider ways of stopping drivers from leaving their engines running while out of traffic.

Labour agreed to include this idea from Lib Dem councillors in a wider plan to improve air quality to be decided at the end of the year.

Lib Dem Councillor Markus Gehring introduced the proposal which ended up being backed by all but independent councillors.

All sides in the debate recognised the contribution to improving air quality in the city that could be made by preventing vehicle engines being allowed to idle unnecessary, following the examples of councils such as Westminster and Islington.

“Of all causes of air pollution in the city, vehicle emissions are the biggest,” said Cllr Gehring. There are many longer term steps our local authorities can and, I’m pleased to say, are looking at. But tackling engine idling is a good place to start, because it’s already illegal and it’s about easily avoidable behaviour, which can be spotted every day of the week. There needs to be a campaign of education and then a level of enforcement introduced.”

“No plan for this will be fully effective if it doesn’t achieve better compliance with the law by professional drivers and this ought to be easier to influence due to their necessary relationship with the local councils,” said Cllr Tim Bick.


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