Experts claim ice cream vans pump out deadly pollutants whilst sitting idle


It could be the end of the road for ice cream vans in the UK, as experts claim they could be pumping out deadly pollutants whilst they sit idling at the side of the road waiting for customers to appear at their side window.

The sound of an ice cream van with its own distinct jingle has been a popular sight in the UK for the past 60 years, with children screaming in excitement as it gets closer and closer, hoping that their parents or those in charge of them say YES when they ask “Can we have an ice cream please?”

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Could it be the end for the ice cream van in the UK over pollution concerns? © Copyright David Martin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

However, councils are now looking at freezing the ice cream van out from a number of roads, with Camden Council in north London being one of the first to announce their intention of introducing ‘no ice cream trading’ signs in 40 streets to help crack down on the issue of pollution.

Ice cream vans keep their engines running whilst in a stationary position, so that the power continues to keep the ice cream on board frozen and the concern is that whilst these diesel engined vehicles are doing so, they’re throwing out chemicals which could be harmful to both children and adults.

Westminster Council has also said they will stop vans from operating on some streets located near schools.

“Idling ice cream vans pump out harmful chemicals like NO2 [nitrogen dioxide] and black carbon which is why the council is introducing measures to reduce and remove this traffic around schools and other public spaces,” said a spokesman.


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