Drivers who refuse to turn their engines off while their vehicles are parked could be slapped with a fine by Wycombe District Council if new plans are given the green light – as Bucks authorities try to crack down on dangerous pollution.

Traffic blackspots in both High Wycombe and Marlow, along with a stretch of the M40, were flagged as areas that need urgent attention - after it was revealed air pollution levels in some areas are more than 70 per cent above the national target.

Areas of both High Wycombe and Marlow were measured to be in excess of the national limit for Nitrogen Dioxide and two new Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA) were declared – with the county council, Wycombe District Council (WDC) and Arriva and Carousel, along with organisations like the Marlow Society and Wycombe Friends of the Earth, getting together to come up with ways to tackle the toxic fumes.

A new plan of action that has now been drafted up shows how drivers who do not turn off their engines while they are pulled up at the side of the road could be given fixed penalty notices in a bid to cut down on pollution.

The fines will apply to all vehicles – private, public transport and commercial vehicles.

The report says: “Unfortunately idling engines are commonly found in town centres, car parks, bus stations and outside schools.

“Emissions from an idling engine do not disperse rapidly into the environment as they are not subject to the turbulence effect that is caused to traffic travelling at speed.

“They cause very high concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in the immediate vicinity of the car.

“This is particularly a problem when idling occurs outside schools with vulnerable young children being primarily exposed.”

As well as fines, new signs telling drivers they are entering an AQMA, a public awareness campaign on every Clean Air Day and a new education programme about air pollution are on the cards.

Both WDC and Bucks County Council are also planning to promote the Park and Ride at Handy Cross more and encourage drivers to take public transport or car share instead.

The report also suggests working closer with schools on projects like “Park and Stride” schemes to encourage parents to drop off at a safe designated area so children can then finish the journey to school by walking.

It says: “Traffic associated with parents dropping off their children at the school gate has a significant effect on congestion in some areas of the Air Quality Management Areas and can cause elevated air pollution for students.”

WDC is asking residents to comment on the plans as part of a consultation running until September 11.

Visit to respond.