PARENTS who leave their car engines running outside Trafford schools could be fined £20.

Town hall bosses hope the proposals, which would see mums and dads penalised for parking without stopping the engine, would reduce air pollution.

The council says the ‘anti-idling’ policy could also improve road safety near schools.

The tough stance has been welcomed by many parents and residents, who have also called for stricter parking restrictions to be introduced.

If the plans are adopted, town hall could use its power to issue offenders with on-the-spot fines of £20.

Councillors will discuss the move during next Monday’s executive meeting but with a view of debating it again in September.

Meanwhile, residents and parents have expressed their opinions about the proposals in Urmston and Stretford community Facebook pages.

Flixton resident Martyn Morgan said he doesn’t think there are enough enforcement officers to monitor the situation.

“It’s an education issue; parents need, unfortunately, to be educated as to the bad effects of this common practice,” he wrote.

“I live right by a primary school – and the whole drop off and pick up by parents, in terms of traffic chaos, blocking buses, a determination to be nearest to the school gates – and first away – is quite something to behold.

“What’s worse, is that the parking is so bad, that those who’ve chosen to walk to school suffer the most.”

“To see a pavement blocked by a selfish parent, such that, the pushchair has to be taken into the road, as well as the low-level emission of fumes, is a disgrace,” he added.

Dad-of-two Jason Park commented that he collects his daughter from school and then has to wait half an hour for his son to finish.

“We sit in the car with the radio on – and the engine off,” he said.

“It can get a bit cold, but it’s not unbearable – and this from someone who drives a car that’s thirty years old.”

Sale resident Stella Walker,  who lives next to a primary school, said parked cars with engines running makes her ‘really angry’.

“It’s totally unnecessary,” she said.

“It is bad enough when people block our driveways when they are collecting their children, without having the atmosphere polluted with exhaust fumes as well.

“It is just so thoughtless, especially for the children who are walking home and are forced to inhale the fumes.”

Dilys Bray suggested parents could rally round and organise an ‘observation scheme’.

Lisa Hallam said the move would be a ‘drop in the ocean’ if you consider how close most schools are to main roads and motorways.

“However,  I agree people should be fined, but who is going to enforce it?”, she asked.

Darren Morgan, the headteacher at Kings Road Primary School in Stretford, said he was ‘pleased’ the council is taking the matter seriously.

“I will never understand why those who could walk to school choose to drive – and put their child’s health and safety at risk,” he said.

“Not only that, but they are also willing to affect environmental factors due to what seems to me to be laziness.

“Climate change is a priority and a concern for us all.

“However, for those that are unwilling to play their part should face the consequence as a result of their selfish attitude.”

Cllr Stephen Adshead, the portfolio holder for air quality, said the authority is ‘dedicated’ to improving road safety and air quality.

“The health of parents, children and staff at our schools is of paramount importance,” he said.

“We will do everything we can to ensure they breathe in clean air.”

Geraldine Coggins, Leader of the Green Party group on Trafford Council, added:

“We welcome these plans, which should mean that children have cleaner air to breathe and a safer journey to school. This will also be good news for residents living near schools. We regularly hear about the difficulties those who live near schools have with parking, congestion and air pollution.”

Cllr Coggins said the council should use its power to issue fines to stop ‘the dangerous practice’ of ‘idling’.