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Exemption From Idling Ban For Red Minibuses Too Broad

Exemption from idling ban for red minibuses too broad, greens say

Peter So – Updated on Jan 15, 2009 – SCMP

Green activists say proposed exemptions for red minibuses parked with idling engines are too broad.

A government source said earlier that any two red minibuses plying the same route would be exempted from a proposed ban on idling engines if there were passengers in the first vehicle waiting at a stop.

Clean Air Action Group convenor Yolanda Ng Yuen-ting said that that would not help improve air quality in busy districts.

She said a stop for red minibuses usually had buses plying many routes and the vehicles parked separately.

“The exemption virtually allows all the vehicles to park without shutting off their engines,” Ms Ng said.

She feared the exemption would make a ban difficult to enforce.

Phil Heung Fu-lap, vice-chairman of Clean The Air, called for a ban without any exemptions.

Meanwhile, Annelise Connell, honorary secretary of Mini Spotters, said many red minibuses had been waiting for passengers on the street, outside minibus stops, but police seldom took action against them.

She said she had doubts that the police had enough manpower to enforce the ban on idling engines if the law was passed.

Ms Ng said a hotline allowing people to report cases of illegal parking and idling engines should be established.

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