The whipped ice-cream treats are a quintessential part of British summer afternoons, but are now in danger of “disappearing from our streets altogether”, traders warn.
Council bosses have erected ‘No Ice Cream Trading’ signs in 40 streets in Camden, north London, on the grounds they are dangerous, The Sun reports.
Officials said the vans cause pollution by keeping the engine running while at a standstill, putting children’s health at risk.
London Green Party politician 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.”
But the radical move was dubbed a “nasty policy” by Matthew Lesh from think tank the Adam Smith Institute.
He added: “Councils are stealing kids’ fun afternoon treats across the city.
“London’s pollution problem won’t be solved by taking a small number of ice cream trucks off a few roads.”
Zelica Carr, of trade body The Ice Cream Alliance, said the problem could be tackled more effectively by providing ice cream vendors with electric power.
She said: “We would encourage councils and other bodies to install electricity power points in parks and other relevant sites so ice cream vans can operate with their engines off.
“Otherwise, there is a danger of ice cream vans disappearing from our streets altogether — which would be tragic because they are so reminiscent of all our childhoods.”
Mum Vicky Sousa, 38, of Pimlico, Westminster, said: “If the vans are causing a problem then something needs to be done.
“I would support banning them from near schools but it has to be a proportionate response.”