East Dunbartonshire Council is running a campaign to cut down engine idling and make drivers realise the cost to the environment and their pocket – with targeted spot-checks of motorists who face fines of £20.
Councillor Susan Murray, vice-Convener of the Council’s Place & Neighbourhood Services Committee, who launched the two-week poster and online campaign which runs until March 23rd, said, “Harmful exhaust fumes from idling engines cause air pollution and are known to contribute to serious health conditions such as asthma, other lung complaints and heart disease.
“Engine idling wastes fuel and releases chemicals into the air making it bad for your pocket, bad for other people and bad for the planet. If you are parked up, waiting for a child at the school or waiting for your passenger at the shops then the right thing to do is to switch off your engine.”
Environmental health officers will be running spot checks at targeted locations across the area. Offenders can be issued with a fixed penalty notice for £20, rising to £40 if not paid within 28 days.
An idling engine can produce up to twice the emissions of a moving car and these fumes contain carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.
The Royal College of Physicians estimates 40,000 deaths a year in the UK are linked to air pollution, with engine idling contributing to this.
East Dunbartonshire has two Air Quality Management Areas – one in Bearsden and the other in Bishopbriggs and over recent years the Council has seen an overall reduction in pollution in both these areas.
Check out the council’s efforts to improve air quality on their website www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk