Plans tackling air pollution by creating clean air zones are being considered.

St Albans City and District Council are looking into plans to set up clean air zones in areas where the air quality is poor, or vulnerable people are concentrated, such as the elderly and children.

The pollution reduction scheme could also include fining drivers who keep their engines on while parked, known as "engine idling".

The proposals were recommended to the council's cabinet by the community, environment and sport scrutiny committee, and the cabinet will now decide whether to implement any or all of the proposals.

Cllr Anthony Rowlands, the scrutiny committee’s chairman, said: "The council has undertaken campaigns against the problem of engine idling.

"There have been publicity drives, social media activities and engagement with schools and other organisations.

"However, the consensus among the Committee members was that much more needs to be done to change the behaviour of drivers and we should look at developing our strategy further.

“There was a strong feeling that we should set up clean air zones in the district. Moreover, civil enforcement officers should be tasked with identifying idling vehicles and taking appropriate action against offenders, including issuing fixed penalty notices.

"As a council, we are committed to reducing air pollution and I hope that the cabinet accepts these recommendations and takes them forward without delay.”

The government has also made £225million available to local authorities to create clean air zones, and they also encourage "green travel" and optimise traffic flow to reduce congestion.

The committee also hoped to develop volunteer "anti-idling champions" to be trained to educate residents about the need to reduce emissions.

Currently under road traffic regulations, it is an offence to leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while parked, but an enforcement officer can only issue a £20 fine and ask the driver to switch it off where parking restrictions are in place.

To view the committee's full report, please see: