Ice cream vans could be banned in Victoria Park

Tower Hamlets Council could ban ice cream vans (stock image). Pic: PA

Tower Hamlets Council could ban ice cream vans (stock image). Pic: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Ice cream vans could be banned from Victoria Park following pollution complaints about the vehicles, it has been revealed.

The news comes as other councils said they would ban ice cream vans as part of a crack down on toxic air pollution.

Most run on diesel and release dangerously high levels of black carbon, a sooty substance that scientists claim can stunt the growth of children’s lungs and trigger asthma attacks.

The vans need to keep their engines running even while stationary in order to power on-board freezers and a whippy machine.

Tower Hamlets Council said it is was looking at providing electricity supplies for the businesses in other parts of the borough instead. Camden Council said it will be installing “no ice cream trading” signs for the first time in 40 streets, as well as increasing enforcement officer patrols and issuing fines to sellers who break the rules.

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While Westminster Council will also be enforcing trading laws to prevent ice cream sellers operating in some of its streets near schools.

Vans operating in central London are affected by the ultra low emission zone, which came into force on April 8 and sees the polluting vehicles charged up to £100 a day.

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However, ice cream vans are exempt from engine idling regulations because of their on-board refrigerators.

The London Local Authorities Act allows roaming ice cream vans to trade from an area for 15 minutes, but not return to that site during the rest of the trading day.

Councils have freedom to implement even stricter rules.

Green Party London Assembly member Caroline Russell said: “No one wants to be the fun police or see people lose their businesses.

“But people don’t want a side order of asthma with their ice cream. This is a serious health issue. The Ulez charge has helped but we can’t have a situation where you can pay to pollute.

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