Idle Drivers in London

Idle Drivers in London


A new study has found that a very small minority of drivers reported for idling face any penalty action.

The data from a freedom of information (FoI) request found that only 1 in 1000 drivers reported for idling in central London received a fine.

The data looked at idling cases reported in Westminster from 2017 to the present. The council’s website received more than 70,000 reports of drivers idling. But only 63 of those drivers received fines. Even more shockingly only half of those fines were ever paid.

The report found authorities took “soft-action” resolutions to 99.9% of idling incidents. But it doesn’t go on to clarify whether this means the driver turned their engines off.


Air Quality in the Capital


Westminster has gained a reputation for being the most polluted county in the UK.

Air pollution in the capital kills around 4,000 people every year.

A comprehensive review in 2019 found that air pollution can be damaging every organ in the human body. The review also found that pollution is especially damaging in children.

A recent study from the Transport Research Laboratory found that turning your engine off for just 30 seconds will cut the amount of pollution it emits by idling in half.

In 2017 the council in the central London borough decided to tackle this by increasing the fine for unnecessary idling in the area from £20 to £80.

In 2021 MP Nickie Aiken submitted a request for the Government to further increase the fine. He claimed it wasn’t a strong enough deterrent for idol drivers. But some think the council needs to go further.


Max Sullivan, the Labour candidate for the Bayswater council ward made the FOI request. He suggests the Westminster council “did not use the powers at their disposal” to curb the level of idling in the county.

He stated:

“The lack of tough action on engine idling is appalling and will be disappointing news to those worried about air pollution. It is reasonable to have some soft enforcement. The problem is there is virtually no hard action at all.”

This follows the news last week that the Mayor of London has submitted a proposal to further expand the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ). Sadiq Khan has proposed to expand the ULEZ to cover the whole of London by the end of 2023. This is despite reports that CO2 levels in the city have only dropped by 5% since the initial ULEZ introduction in 2019.


How Can We Help?

If cutting your fleet’s pollution is a key part of your plans for 2022, our telematics will help. Our Telematic solutions offer a route optimization feature. This uses live traffic data to put your drivers on the best course for their journey, cutting travel times and emissions. Our ranking system also encourages better driving habits. The system will rank your drivers on how they are behaving, including the time they spend idling.



Idle Drivers in London