COUNCIL chiefs are clamping down on drivers who keep their engines idling in an effort to improve air quality.

From Tuesday, January 8, drivers who refuse to turn off their idling engines when asked to do so by Cheshire West and Chester Council enforcement officers will be issued a £20 fixed penalty.

And if that fee is not paid after 28 days, the penalty will automatically double to £40.

After the move was signed off on Wednesday by Cllr Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, a council decision notice said: “The key purpose of this proposal is to provide the council with an additional tool to improve air quality.

“The objective of the new power is to enable us to encourage motorists to adopt a more reasonable attitude when parking their vehicles.

“It is not expected that fixed penalty notices will be given in high volumes for this offence.

“The primary purpose of the adoption of this power and any associated enforcement campaigns is to raise awareness of the issue and to change behaviour.”

CWAC says that the power to issue fixed penalties should give any future campaigns to change driver behaviour a ‘much greater impact’ than they would otherwise have.

Cllr Patricia Parkes, Conservative member for Hartford and Greenbank, believes the move is a positive step – but feels there is a lot more work to do to tackle air pollution.

“I do think that anything which can help improve air quality is a step in the right direction,” she said.


“I have spoken about pollution at full council in the past, and I do have concerns for residents that walk alongside congested roads.

“I think the council needs to look at how it measures the pollution that affects those residents who walk and there is more work to be done to improve air quality – but this is a positive step.”

Councillors have until Monday, January 7, to decide if they want to ‘call in’ the decision for further scrutiny.