Canterbury Council have decided to fine drivers if they keep vehicle engines running in stationary traffic in Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay.
From this week, enforcement officers will be able to issue £20 penalties to drivers of cars, taxis, buses and commercial vehicles who keep their engines running while stationary after being asked to switch them off.
The council state that the clamp down on engine idling is a way to cut air pollution across the district.
It comes after the much criticised council recently put in anti-terror bollards around the city centre, which has slowed down the already congested town centre. Now they have run out of ways to continue charging drivers, they have found a new way of charging drivers who are unable to move.
The move follows a test in 2021 which saw drivers being asked on roadside signs to turn off their engines has helped cut pollution. Three signs were erected at level crossings in Canterbury as part of research by the University of Kent exploring the impact of messaging and they found that pollution fell by 42% at one of the crossings.
Canterbury City Council said the work had shown “the right messages in the right locations can be really effective” in cutting pollution.
Enforcement Officers will initially focus on places such as schools, popular shops and areas across Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay where parked vehicles are known to leave their engines running for long periods of time. That is probably because they know that is where the best money can be made!
The council should come up with better ideas than this, especially as bus services are cut again forcing more people onto the road
Critics have been quick to say that this new policy will be hard to implement and that most traffic is start/stop, so it will be very difficult to get drivers to switch off their engines unless they are stationary for a long time.
The council will also try and persuade people to voluntarily turn off their engines at level crossings and railway stations and educate them on the benefits.
We are sure that there will be a few irate drivers stuck in numerous traffic jams in Canterbury that will just ‘love’ a bit of ‘friendly advice’ about turning off their vehicle engine.
Next week we will be reporting on police being called to incidents involving drivers and enforcement officers in the Canterbury area!