Bath’s Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse has been doing her bit on National Clean Air Day.
She’s got the government to confirm that they are looking at implementing her bill, which would strengthen local authority powers on idling.
The bill would allow local authorities to increase the fines for stationary vehicle idling offences, as well as increasing fines for those who repeatedly offend.
Car idling is a significant issue in Bath, which is struggling to cope with toxic and illegal levels of air pollution.
The Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey was asked if the Government would consider implementing the Vehicle Emissions (Idling Penalties) Bill that was presented to the Parliament last week.
Wera Hobhouse said:
“I am delighted that Government have woken up to the crisis and are looking at my proposal. For far too long they have failed to take air pollution seriously. They have lost numerous court cases over their inability to tackle the toxic fumes that Bath and other cities breathe in every day, and parred the responsibility off to local authorities.”
“This is a major crisis, with emissions from vehicles responsible for a myriad of health problems, many terminal. Research shows that 800,000 people die every year across Europe due to air pollution.
“The legislation that I have tabled is crucial step in tackling our air pollution crisis. It will allow local authorities like B&NES to clamp down on idling without the need to apply to the Government first, and it will enable them to increase fines on repeat offenders.”
“I’ve done the first step for the government, all they need to do is back my bill and we can put an end to idling as soon as possible. It is time the Tories did much more to tackle both the climate emergency and the air pollution crisis.”