The independent London newspaper

Ice-cream vans a pollution menace

08 March, 2018

• YOUR readers will know that there have been frequent complaints about the menace of ice-cream vans which, with diesel engines running, remain stationary, for hours on end, polluting the neighbourhood.

Within central London this is a problem that occurs only in Camden because other boroughs (Westminster, the City and Lambeth, for example) actively enforce the regulations and do not tolerate unlawful trading, polluting, unlawful parking, or the causing of an obstruction.

In Camden, however, no one seems willing to clamp down on this scourge. Over the past two years we at Stop Polluting Camden have been discussing the problem with Camden officials and with NSL, who are supposed to enforce the parking rules, but their attitudes seem rather slack. And this is even with MP Sir Keir Starmer intervening on our behalf.

In most cases there is no response at all. It is only when formal measures are taken (for example, through the Freedom of Information Act) that anything tends to emerge.

In those cases the typical response is that should a civil enforcement officer approach the van, the van will drive off. As a result the CEOs don’t bother approaching the vans at all. Regrettably, Camden officials appear to endorse that rather resigned attitude.

Come the spring and summer, as the sun comes out, so will the ice-cream vans. And until Camden gets its act together there will be no stopping them.

The impact on our lungs seems to be no trigger for those in power to do anything about the problem. Neither does the danger caused to other road users by the parking (often in the middle of road junctions or alongside designated crossing points).

In this, an election year, we hope that someone will take a stand and help clean up the borough’s streets.



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