CONTROVERSIAL suggestions to charge drivers who do not turn off their engines in traffic have been pushed back by councillors.

Highways bosses at Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) want to tackle air pollution in areas with high levels of harmful gas.

READ MORE: Drivers could be fined if they don't turn their engines off

One way officers have proposed to deal with this problem is to fine drivers who refuse to turn off their engines while queuing in traffic.

Councillors discussed the idea on Tuesday (October 1) but did not suggest the council adopts this idea because there was limited detail around how this would work.

Local Berkshire:

Paul Fishwick, Liberal Democrats member, told the News: “I had a lot of questions and there was nobody there to answer them.

“It will need a lot more detail to enable members to feel comfortable to go ahead with this.

“We need more information and we need the evidence to go with it.”

The proposals will come back with more detail at a meeting on Tuesday, November 12.

If plans were approved, motorists who do not turn off their engines upon request could be charged £20, with the fee rising to £40 if it is not paid within four weeks.

Local Berkshire:

Here's where new toilets have been added in the town centre

Cllr Gregor Murray, WBC’s environmental boss told the News the plans came as a “complete surprise” to him.

He added: “The proposals are designed to about all of the different options – it doesn’t mean it is something we are necessarily proposing.

“Something like this would also have to get to the executive group for approval.

“At the moment we have no plans to do that.

“We are much more interested in learning from what we have already put in place so we can refine it rather than fining motorists.

“We have got to give people the opportunity to change their habits before we do something like this.”

Two other options for challenging the air pollution issue were included in an officer’s report.

Local Berkshire:

NOW READ: Greggs coming to Lower Earley

A targeted campaign pushing drivers to switch their engines off was one suggestion, and installing road signs at ‘sensitive locations’ reminding motorists to turn off their cars in traffic was the other.