Councillor Catherine Longworth, chairman of Westminster council's environment sub committee, said: 'I encourage all local authorities to follow our lead and begin testing vehicles and targeting standing cars, vans, buses, trucks, whatever they may be. I also call on fleet managers to impress upon drivers that it is now an offence to leave engines running when picking someone up, waiting or delivering goods.'
Westminster Council found that during a year's emissions testing one in five vehicles stopped did not meet existing MoT standards. This has resulted in a special task force taking to the streets. Every day, at random points around London, police will stop vehicles and council officers will test them.
If they fail, the fine is £60, or £90 if it's not paid in 28 days. Similarly the council is trying to stop people from leaving engines running unnecessarily, particularly waiting at kerbsides. Anyone seen doing this will be asked by a police officer, a parking attendant, or a council officer to switch off the engine. If this is not done a £20 fine will be issued. It goes up to £40 if not paid in 28 days.