30 August 2017

There is still time to join more than a thousand Sheffield people who have had their say on whether idling fines should be introduced for parents who leave their cars running outside schools.

Sheffield City Council has had nearly 1,100 responses to its consultation into introducing idling fines, which closes at the end of August.

The survey only takes five minutes to complete and closes on Thursday 31 August. It will be followed by a public meeting with a date to be decided shortly.

The consultation asks for views on whether the Council should enforce new by-laws as recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for “no vehicle idling”.

It asks whether the Council should introduce a scheme aimed at drivers who leave their engines running outside schools and whether this should include “on the spot” fines. It also asks whether other vehicles and locations should be included, including buses and taxis, for example, at Sheffield station.

New guidance from Public Health England and NICE sets out a wide range of measures to cut air pollution, which is at illegal levels in almost 90 per cent of urban areas.

In particular, they have called for “no idling” zones to be introduced outside schools, care homes and hospitals. Westminster City Council has already introduced £80 fines for drivers caught with their engines running.

Sheffield would be the second Council to introduce such a policy, which is a symbol of how serious the Council is taking the issue.

Sheffield City Council’s AirAware campaign has been saying for some time ‘switch off when you drop off’ to parents if they take their children to school by car and has given headteachers the opportunity to have a free banner outside their school to push that message.

The Council has recently published its own sustainability vision to tackle air quality across the city.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability at Sheffield City Council, said:

“I’m really pleased to see that so many people have responded to the consultation and share our passion to make Sheffield cleaner and greener, and eliminate needless idling from our streets.

“Polluted air is a major public health hazard in many parts of the country, particularly affecting the very young and very old in our city.

“There’s simply no reason for drivers to leave engines idling at any time, but especially near schools, care homes and hospitals.

“I’m delighted that there has already been such a strong public endorsement for the robust approach we are proposing. I want everyone to have their say in the limited time left, so please get involved.”

There’s still time to have your say. Please do so here or email airquality@sheffield.gov.uk.