Southport councillors Pat Keith and Lynne Thompson are urging Sefton Council to take stronger action against drivers who leave their vehicle engine idling for prolonged periods.
The council launched an anti –idling campaign in June 2019 as a clean air initiative but the two councillors want enforced regulation to tackle the growing problem, especially outside schools.
“Idling increases the amount of exhaust fumes in the air and these fumes contain a number of harmful gasses including carbon dioxide, which is bad for the environment and contributes towards climate change, “said Councillor Keith, who represents Cambridge Ward,
“It also emits a range of other harmful gasses including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons which are linked to asthma and other lung diseases”
Councillor Thompson, Ainsdale representative, is calling for action on idling to mark Clean Air Day. “This is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, engaging thousands of people at hundreds of events, and reaching millions more through the media, “ she said.
“This year it’s taking place on October 8 and I very much want Sefton to play its part by facing up to the problem of engine idling.”
Councillor Keith added: “Whether it is outside schools, picking up relatives from stations, or in a car park, we can all do our bit by switching off our engines and reducing our emissions.
“Research shows 23% of all car journeys are two miles or under, so consider whether you really need to drive, cutting out just a few of these types of car journeys will make a real difference.
“In the first instance we would like to see signage in Sefton warning of the dangers of engine idling and the penalties for so doing as other local authorities have done already with the backing of the RAC.”
A spokesman for bus operators Arriva Group said in response to a request for a comment from Councillor Keith: ”The drivers who are in traffic do not need to switch of the engines as it will take too long to switch back on.”