DRIVERS who refuse to switch off their engine when they are parked could now be fined £20.

And a campaign has been launched to encourage people to think about the effects of air pollution caused by idling engines.

It highlights the importance of switching off engines outside schools, nurseries and homes to improve air quality for children.

Claire Rigden, head teacher at St Paul’s Nursery School, said: “Reducing the number of cars on the roads around our schools is really important to us, as it keeps our children healthier and safer.”

Council officers can now fine motorists £20, rising to £40 if they do not pay within 28 days, if they do not turn off their engines when asked. But the measures will be a “last resort”.

A new clean air zone will be introduced in York in January 2020.