Concerns over air pollution, traffic congestion, targeting of schools and illegal trading have led to a crackdown in parts of the capital
‘Ice cream vans are to be banned from operating in some areas of London over concerns about air pollution.
Drivers need to keep their engines switched on while they are selling ice cream so that their onboard freezers stay cold, and to power soft serve ice cream machines. Most of the vehicles use diesel engines, which emit harmful chemicals such as black carbon and nitrogen dioxide.
Camden council already bans ice cream vans from operating in 40 streets due to environmental concerns. This year it is putting up “no ice cream trading” signs and increasing enforcement officer patrols in these areas, with fines for drivers caught selling ice cream there.
A council spokesman said these areas were targeted for a number of reasons, including complaints received about ice cream vans trading outside specific schools.
Westminster city council is also trying to tackle the problem of idling vehicles, including ice cream vans. A spokesperson said: “Idling vehicles pump harmful chemicals like NO2 and black carbon into the air, which is why at Westminster city council we are introducing measures to reduce, and in some cases remove, traffic around schools and other public spaces.”
The London Local Authorities Act allows roaming ice cream vans to trade from a particular area for 15 minutes, but not return to that spot during the rest of the trading day.
In recent years, the capital’s Low Emissions Zone has meant that many ice cream van drivers have been forced to sell their vehicles and invest in a new one. The ultra-low emission zone, which came into effect on 8 April, means vans that operate in central London have to pay a daily charge.’