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New rules aim to cut vehicle pollution near schools

Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

New rules published on Thursday will make it an offence to leave a stationary vehicle’s engine running in areas surrounding schools.

Signposted areas will be designated and the law applies to all motor vehicles, including cars and motorcycles, and is subject to a fine of up to £1000.

“No idling zones will be introduced in areas surrounding schools, and may be extended to other areas around Gibraltar,” a statement the Ministry for Transport and the Environment said.

“Leaving a vehicle’s engine running whilst stationary significantly increases emissions, with negative effects on the environment and on human health.”

“Around schools, these harmful gases are released close to the height of the children, who will breathe them in directly.”

A simultaneous awareness campaign, organised jointly by the Departments of Education, Transport and Public Health, will aim to inform parents and grandparents of the harmful effects of idling in school pick up and drop off zones, the statement added.

In addition to safeguarding the health and well-being of school children, these regulations, which are a manifesto commitment due to be introduced within three months of the elections, form part of the Government’s ongoing work on Net Zero.

The Minister for Education, Environment and Transport, Dr John Cortes, said: “It gives me great pleasure to publish these idling regulations, which span three of my portfolios, and aim to protect school children from the harmful effects of unnecessary pollution and will considerably reduce Gibraltar’s greenhouse emissions at peak travel times.”

“Please, if your vehicle is stationary or parked, turn off the engine to avoid wasting petrol and stop your children and grandchildren from breathing it in.”

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