engines idling, fumes, pic under creative commons licence

Cheshire East Council looks set to do a U-turn and scrap plans to fine drivers who sit in stationary vehicles with their engines running, writes Belinda Ryan.

Just 12 months ago the highways and transport committee voted to adopt legal powers to crack down on the polluting practice.

Highways officers at the time had tried to steer the council away from an enforcement policy because of a lack of resources, instead recommending it continue the programme of educating drivers about the dangers of engine idling.

But, following an amendment proposed by the late Cllr Les Gilbert, the committee voted to adopt additional legislative powers enabling them to fine drivers as well as continuing the education programme.

Now the cash-strapped council is gearing up to overturn that decision.

A report to next week’s meeting of the committee recommends councillors “agree to set aside the opportunity to adopt additional legislative powers… at this time due to costs for adopting legislative powers and potential adverse impact on education/ promotional campaigns”.

The committee is also asked to note that air quality across the whole borough is reported annually and that, “should evidence indicate a need, the opportunity for engine idling fixed penalties can be reviewed as part of that process”.

Committee member Allen Gage (Willaston, Con) is urging councillors to block the U-turn next week.

Cllr Gage told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Engine idling outside schools, which was the reason behind the policy, is a totally unnecessary occurrence.

“It forces those waiting around on foot, often young children who cannot choose to extract themselves from the situation, to breathe in fumes. It also provides the same nuisance to those with gardens or properties close by.

“I am rather surprised that this Labour/Independent led ‘green’ council is now trying to overturn the policy proposed by the late Cllr Les Gilbert and myself.

“If the council cannot afford to enforce the policy then it should remain in place until we can.

“Sadly, I am not aware that any attempt has been made to inform or engage with schools or residents on this matter.”

He said people ‘generally do the right thing and with some purposeful communication I believe this could become self-enforcing’.

The highways meeting takes place at 10am on Thursday, November 23 at Macclesfield Town Hall.


  1. I get Sick of hearing about the so called “cash strapped council”, the Cheshire East interim CEO is earning £1200.00 a day, profiteering off the backs of decent hard working people.
    All the councils do is waste money, and then try to dream up new ways to rip us off and rob us within the confines of the law.

  2. It’s very selfish to leave engines idling outside schools. Many children are asthmatic and they gave to breath on those toxic fumes. Think about it …

  3. Andy Grey Rider says:

    I need the heat for my disabilities yet there’s still buses pumping out huge clouds of black smoke.

  4. Stupid idea ,how were they really going to try and inforce this,they need to address the inconsiderate parking first,still just another stupid idea from a stupid and pointless council

  5. Definition of a dangerous idling engine is rather he said she said, defrosting or keeping a car defrosted for example

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