Switch off when stationary


Friday, 25 March, 2022

Drivers who leave their engines running in Epsom and Ewell are being targeted in an anti-idling campaign.

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is to engage with drivers and, when necessary, will take enforcement action against vehicle idling within the borough.

Engine idling produces air pollution and increases the amount of toxic air that we breathe, which can have significant impacts on people’s health. Children and elderly people are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. Improving air quality can help cut heart disease, reduce lung cancer and prevent asthma. 

Councillor Neil Dallen, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee said “Idling is sometimes unavoidable but there are instances, such as waiting for a takeaway or when collecting children from school, when idling is not necessary.

“Our advice is to switch off your engine when parked or waiting for a minute or longer, to reduce emissions and help improve our local air quality; that’s a small change that can make a big difference”.

There is a borough-wide traffic management order in place which prohibits vehicle engine idling within Epsom and Ewell.

Council Enforcement Officers will approach drivers where they observe engine idling and request that they switch the engine off whilst stationary. If the driver refuses to switch off the engine, they could receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (£20 raising to £40 if not paid within 14 days). Exemptions exist where the engine is required to power specific functions of the vehicle, such as refrigeration units.

Councillor Dallen added “We don't want to issue fixed penalty notices, and it will be a last resort, but we do want to enforce the new anti-idling regulations effectively to improve air quality”.