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‘Switch off your engines’: Residents in Gedling street with worries about air pollution want idling vehicle problem resolved


Worried residents in a Gedling street are calling on parents to turn off their engines when parking up to collect their children from a nearby school and help cut down on air pollution.

People living on Waverley Avenue say that some drivers are leaving their engines running for up to 40 minutes while waiting to pick up their kids from nearby Carlton le Willows School.

And although it’s a fineable offence to leave an engine running when parked, local authorities say they are unsure about what can be done to stamp it out in the street.

Mother-of-two Samantha Bowen, who lives on Waverley Avenue, is now having to confront drivers herself in a bid to cut down on the problem.

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She said: “I don’t have a problem with parents parking on the street at all. It’s leaving their engines running while they wait that’s the issue

“For every minute a car leave the engines running while parked creates enough toxic chemicals to fill around 150 balloons.

“I have two young children and I don’t want them breathing this air in when they are playing outside.

Idling engines are causing a local pollution problem

“I just want someone to do something about it.”

Samantha said the response from parents had been ‘mixed’ when she approached those parked up with their engines running .

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She said: “Some are polite, others are quite rude.

“I politely asked one lady to turn her engine off and she just went and parked further down the road and still left the engine on. One man refused to wind his window down and just waved me away. Some people can be quite rude.

“But one woman was unaware of the environmental impact and was really nice about it.”

Samantha is now thinking about launching a campaign to help tackle the problem.

She said: “I’m thinking about having posters and leaflets done. I don’t think people are aware about the environmental damage that leaving your engine running causes.”

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Francis Rodrigues is another resident with concerns about idling drivers on the street.

He said: The problem has arisen since they stopped parents dropping pupils off at the school entrance on Wood Lame. Waverley, Brooklands, Tennyson and Vernon Avenues are now car parks from 3pm to 4.30pm every school day.

“Many parents leave their engines idling and polluting the local air for residents which is unhealthy. Many parents sit in their cars and when asked to switch off their engines are abusive and rude in their reply.

“I’m hoping the new entrance and school buildings planned on Burton Road will help alleviate the issue.

“I hope the head teacher Craig Weaver will write to parents asking them to switch their engines off or even encourage pupils to walk more & save their parents having to pick them up.”

Residents have been in contact with local Gedling Borough Councillor Jenny Hollingsworth about the problem.

Councillor Hollingsworth told Gedling Eye: “I have contacted the Police and Nottinghamshire County Council via County Cllr Nicki Brooks and neither have enforcement powers in respect of Idling vehicles.

“Unfortunately There are no obvious environmental powers either.”

“I would ask parents who park on residential Streets, to wait for their children, to be considerate and respectful towards local residents and the environment “

Gedling Eye has contacted Nottinghamshire County Council and Carlton le Willows School for a comment.

What are the rules?

Rule 123 of The Highway Code looks at ‘The Driver and the Environment’, stating that drivers must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.

Local authorities have the power to issue £20 fixed penalties for emission offences and stationary idling under The Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002.

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  1. It’s ok for those who can afford an electric vehicle to drive their darlings to local schools though. They don’t cause congestion, which, in turn, adds to air pollution do they?

    • The point about the engines running is that it pollutes the air of the residents. The electric car issue is for a future discussion. The rudeness of parents is not acceptable. Sam
      Bowen & I are only asking for car engines to be turned off. The head teacher of CLWA , Craig Weaver, has written to parents.
      “ Dear Parent/carer,

      Some local residents have expressed concern about parents/carers sitting in cars with the engine running while waiting to collect their children from Carlton le Willows.

      Council officers have urged us to let you know that any driver leaving their engine running while stationary, may be subject to a £20 fine (under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations of 2002).

      Whilst we appreciate you being mindful of student safety and avoiding the congested area of Wood Lane at the end of the school day, we would also ask you to bear in mind this issue of concern for other Gedling residents.

      JC Weaver

      The content of the letter is well balanced, fair & in the interests of residents & pupils passing in the hundreds, who should not be having the air quality poisoned.


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