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Anti idling

Engine idling is the unnecessary running of a vehicle engine and is a significant source of local air pollution as well as noise. To counter this, the Council is carrying out an extensive awareness raising campaign. We have also adopted powers to issue fixed penalty notices for idling, under the Road Traffic Regulations 2002.

If a vehicle driver is found to be idling unnecessarily and refused upon request to turn off their engine, they may be given a £20 fine.

There are circumstances where drivers are allowed to leave their vehicle’s engine running when stationary:

  • Where a vehicle is stationary owing to the necessities of traffic e.g. when vehicles are queuing at traffic lights;
  • Where an engine is being run so that a defect can be traced and rectified
  • Where machinery on a vehicle requires the engine to be running e.g. where the engine powers refrigeration equipment or the compaction equipment in a refuse vehicle;
  • Where a vehicle is propelled by gas produced by the functioning of plant carried on the vehicle.

We have run a number of awareness raising events at local schools where parents often create unnecessary toxic pollution by idling at pick up times. We have also placed banners and signs at strategic locations throughout the borough.

Reporting an issue

To report a problem with idling, please email:

Environmental.Protection@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 5000

Please provide:

  • a description of the problem,
  • the address of the problem
  • your name, address and contact details.