Call to fine Fife drivers who leave vehicle engines idling

The Council has rejected the call.
The Council has rejected the call.

Fife Council been urged to adopt legislation which would let them punish motorists who leave vehicle engines idle

The move came from  Councillor James Calder who tabled a motion to the meeting of the full for fixed penalty notices to be served.

He said such a move would “reduce emissions from vehicles, particularly outside primary schools and where lorries are unloading.”

He added: “Humanity faces an existential threat from climate change. Fife is doing excellent things for the environment. We must challenge ourselves because every little helps. It sends a message and shows Fife is leading the way.”

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He was backed by Councillor Jane-Ann Liston who said: “People’s health is suffering, as well as the environment generally. Fife Council really should be using these powers to make the very air we breathe safer.”

But the call didn’t get  support across the chamber.

Council co-leader, Councillor David Alexander said a move to fixed penalty notices would mean resources would have to be found to enforce them.

 He added: “The money would need to be found. You’ve never asked how much it would cost. ”

He was backed by his co-leader, David Ross , who recognised there was an issue, but this was the wrong way to tackle it.

He added: “It’s not the best way to deal with this and we are happy to have further discussion. It’s unnecessary and the wrong way to go about it.”

Councillor Gavin Ellis said that in his 10 years of working as an enforcement officer he has never had issues. He added: “It’s not a straight forward issue to deal with, but it is decreasing. Emissions from engine idling is a very small part.”

Cllr Calder said he was “incredibly disappointed” with the attitudes, criticising Cllr Alexander for “a singular lack of ambition.”

he added:  “By bringing this forward we’re sending a message to drivers. We’re sending a message to protect the environment and public health by using similar resources we already have as a council, we should look at which members of staff could do this. It won’t add that much time to them.”

His motion was voted down  54-6.