Idling vehicle engines is a real issue in places like Cemetery Junction and the Oxford Rd.

Reading has continually failed to reach national or European standards for air pollution and the result is many more residents suffering from asthma and other conditions associated with air pollution.

Banning drivers from idling their car engines when waiting in a traffic jam might sound like a good idea to reduce air pollution. Sadly the Labour-run administration at Reading Borough Council are proposing an unworkable idea that has no practical way of enforcement.

Our proposal to reduce air pollution in the town is a Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) with a charge for entering the town centre in a polluting vehicle. That would actually reduce air pollution far more than any half-baked park & ride or impossible to enforce idling ban. Charging drivers who enter the LEZ would make them think twice about whether they should drive in to the town centre or choose a bus or train instead.

The LEZ would catch all heavy goods vehicles, coaches, vans and 4×4 pick-ups. Go to the Transport for London website to see what types of vehicle would be charged. All heavy polluting vehicles of one of these types would be charged for entering the LEZ, using cameras to record number plates and send out the fine accordingly, as happens in London. If any of these types of vehicle have engines that are less polluting, they can be allowed in to the LEZ without a charge. The LEZ might also include some types of car with particularly polluting engines.

Creating a LEZ Reading (possibly on the main arteries leading in to the town centre) would deter heavy polluters from entering our town centre and reduce air pollution significantly. It would also result in a healthier atmosphere for residents and visitors to Reading.