Brighton drivers who leave engines idling will now be fined under plans to tackle pollution

  • ITV Meridian's Malcolm Shaw reports from Brighton and Hove

Drivers in Brighton and Hove who leave their engine running whilst parked could be fined £40.

The new rules which have come into force this week, have been introduced in a bid to tackle air pollution, and also apply to parents outside schools who leave engines idling.

Taxi drivers, waiting for fares, are also among those who may fall foul of the new regulations.There are similar fines in force in London boroughs, but clean air campaigners in Brighton today, say it will be difficult to enforce and that harsher measures are needed to make a difference.

If motorists refuse to give their details or drive off, they’ll be reported to the police.

Dr Daniel Roberts represents the campaign group Clean Air Brighton and Hove, and said: "As a clean air campaigner and as an A&E doctor, obviously we welcome any measure that's going to improve the air quality in this city.

"I work all the time, I see patients, you know, children really struggling to breathe through respiratory conditions and that's really tough to see.

"So any measures that will improve that, we obviously welcome.

"But this is going to make only a small difference - it's a small sticking plaster in a big situation.

"We urge the council to take more definitive actions that will make more of a difference such as clean air zones and smoke control areas.

  • Dr Daniel Roberts represents the campaign group Clean Air Brighton and Hove

"That will not only clean up the air in the city and make our city healthier, but also help to combat the wider climate crisis.

"Although the idling law will make a small difference, a clean air zone which exists in lots of other cities across the country, they have shown to have a really dramatic effect on health, and that's regulating the kinds of vehicles which can come in and out of a city at any one time.

"The smoke control areas are about burning cleaner fuels and the kinds of burning devices you can have in your homes.

"Not banning it entirely, but regulating it can have really good effects."

Despite admitting he's not an expert on the effects of air pollution, Dr Roberts says he realised late in his career that many conditions he sees in patients, such asthma, heart attacks, respiratory conditions and even dementia can be worsened.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...

Brighton City Council says fining drivers for idling unnecessarily is an important step in reducing pollution.

Councillor Trevor Muten said: "We are trying to encourage everybody to think about their impact on the air quality of our city.

"This is about encouraging anyone who has a combustion engine to think about switching off for a while, rather than sitting in a car with the engine idling for many minutes."