Zero fines issued by Haringey Council against idling cars

Exhaust from car fumes

The council committed to tackle idling as part of its Air Quality Action Plan - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Haringey Council has not issued a single penalty notice for idling cars since introducing enforcement measures.

Fines of £20 – rising to £40 if not paid within 28 days – can be issued to drivers in Haringey who refuse to turn off their engines when told to do so by an enforcement officer. The policy was agreed by Haringey's cabinet in November 2019.

Haringey's opposition has criticised the council’s “inaction”, which was revealed by a member’s enquiry to the town hall, submitted by Haringey Liberal Democrats' leader Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison.   

Clamping down on idling was a key theme to come out of the council’s consultation with residents on its Air Quality Action Plan.  

Haringey Council said the absence of enforcement is a London-wide issue, and that it is only able to punish idling motorists if they refuse to turn off their engines. The town hall claims all drivers have complied with this instruction.  

Cllr Scott Emery (Lib Dem, Muswell Hill), Haringey Liberal Democrats’ spokesperson for the environment, said: “London’s air quality is a scandal, and this inaction from the council is not good enough.  

“Haringey Labour have made many promises on air pollution, but it is more obvious than ever that these were just empty words, when action was vitally needed." 

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A Haringey Council spokesperson said: “This a pan-London issue, not just a Haringey one, and – like the vast majority of other local authorities in the capital – we have been able to communicate with our residents and no fixed penalty notices (FPNs) have been issued for idling motorists."

They added: “Along with a number of other London boroughs, Haringey Council is lobbying central government for a change in the law that will see an on-the-spot fine issued at the point of offence.” 

Idling – leaving a vehicle's engine running while it is stationary – increases exhaust fumes in the air which include harmful emissions to the environment such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. Idling engines can emit up to twice as many emissions as an engine in motion.