Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield 'anti-idling' zone expands despite one fine enforced

Sheffield Council anti-idling sign Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Sheffield City Council introduced anti-idling signs outside schools last year

A council is installing 600 more "anti-idling zone" signs despite only one motorist being fined since they were introduced almost a year ago.

Sheffield City Council said the signs would be put up at secondary schools, taxi ranks and hospitals.

In August, 600 anti-idling signs were put up in the city, with 150 of them at schools.

Motorists can be fined £20 if their engine is left on, but the council said only one fine had been issued.

Sheffield Green Party said the scheme was "failing" because of a lack of enforcement and said it was being left to parents and teachers to police it, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Enforcement officers can hand out fixed penalty notices, but legislation means drivers must be given the opportunity to turn off engines and only fined if they refuse.

Transport member for the Labour-run council, Bob Johnson, said he would "stick enforcement cameras up" if he could.

The council also said over the past year, many parents have been quizzed about leaving their engines running and had turned them off when asked.

Sheffield Green Party said more enforcement was needed along with the signs.

Paul Turpin, from the party, said: "Either school staff have to police the streets outside schools, or parents do.

"Leaving parents to deal with idling cars at schools causes division and conflict."

He said people became offended when asked to turn off their engines, with other parents being "threatened and abused".

The council said it still has a "raft of proposals" to tackle air pollution and is "determined to clamp down" on idling near schools - including an ongoing educational campaign in schools which is already working, the authority added.

Sheffield Council is running a public consultation on reducing air pollution in the city.

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