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Diesel drivers may face new penalties

Car parked on pavement05/08/14

By Ian Barnsley

Drivers of diesel vehicles who leave their engines running unnecessarily face being fined in one council area - and it is thought that other local authorities could soon follow suit. 

Islington Council has revealed plans to issue on the spot fines for drivers churning exhaust fumes into the air while out shopping, in efforts to achieve targets on air pollution.

Motoring groups say the Government is "betraying" drivers of diesel cars, which emit less CO2 into the air than petrol models. 

Council chiefs say they will not only be clamping down on diesel cars emitting fumes, but also buses and lorries.

It is thought that Islington Council is the first to target motorists in this way, but other councils in the capital are expected to do the same and the idea has spread further afield.

Officials working for Dudley Council are determined to stop parents leaving their engines running outside schools.

Islington Council intends a £20 fine on motorists who refuse to turn off the ignition while stationary and they could pay double that if they delay making the payment. 

It comes as another setback for drivers of diesel vehicles as those wishing to drive in the centre of London could soon have to pay an extra £10 for the privilege.

The extra cost, announced by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, would apply from 2020.

The Federation of Small Businesses' senior development manager Matthew Jaffa said it would push many small enterprises out of the capital.

He wants to see a full review of the calculations behind the London congestion charge.

"This is an attack on business," Mr Jaffa said.  "If we want to be open for business, this sends the wrong message in that respect." 

Diesel cars emit less carbon dioxide than petrol and the Government has offered tax benefits to diesel drivers in the past, but they do emit more of another pollutant - nitrogen oxide.

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