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Decision details

Programme of Implementing Anti-idling Enforcement Areas 2018/19

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Transport and Development

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek approval for a phased introduction and enforcement of anti-idling areas in 2018/19 to complement the Clean Air Strategy.



(i) anti-idling areas be signed and enforced starting with those schools in areas with the poorest air quality;

(ii) publicity and education campaigns are undertaken prior to carrying out enforcement and issuing fixed penalty notices; and

(iii) further enforcement areas are identified and created up to a maximum project spend of £50k.

Reasons for the decision:

This proposal allows Sheffield to take immediate action on localised sources of air pollution which are avoidable without significant impact on drivers. It enables clear communication with drivers regarding the impact on vulnerable groups and on Sheffield’s overall air quality. There is a benefit to drivers to switching off their engine in terms of fuel economy and a wider social benefit in improving local air quality.


The intended outcomes of this proposal are that:


• Drivers are aware of the benefits of switching off their engine in terms of fuel economy and contribution to improving Sheffield’s air quality;


• Vulnerable groups are protected from the sources and impacts of localised air pollution;


• Sheffield residents understand and are engaged in the continuing debate about how we can best address air pollution and air quality issues in the city; and


• Local air quality monitoring shows improvement since the implementation of the policy.

Alternative options considered:

Two alternative options were considered, in addition to the “Do nothing – business as usual” option:

“Do nothing – business as usual” is not a viable option as action on air quality has been mandated by DEFRA. Whilst this does not specifically require Local Authorities to address vehicle idling, the combination of NICE guidance and DEFRA mandate is a compelling call for action within a Local Authority which is already committed to improve air quality.

Delayed action was a possible option and would allow idling to be viewed in the context of wider contributory factors to air quality such as mode of travel, choice of fuel, smooth driving, road speed limits and design to reduce congestion as set out in DEFRA’s (May 2017) report. A charging Clean Air Zone could reduce the number of worst polluting vehicles entering the Air Quality Management Area. However, this option was rejected as it was considered that the publication of NICE guidance created additional local impetus for change which could usefully be harnessed in addressing local issues of vehicle idling, whilst drawing local people into the debates about how wider issues of air pollution should be tackled.

The options of education approaches, enforcement approaches or both were considered for “No vehicle idling” policy. The further option of the coverage of the policy was considered, in terms of whether the whole of the Air Quality Management Area was in scope or only certain zones such as schools, care homes, hospitals and “hot spots” such as taxi ranks. The public view was considered through the findings of the consultation process and in addition a cost/benefit analysis was undertaken which drew on experiences of other local authorities who had already implemented the policy.

Publication date: 08/08/2018

Date of decision: 25/07/2018

Effective from: 15/08/2018

Accompanying Documents: