Islington Council is ramping up its war on the motorist, by charging drivers of diesel cars an extra £96 a year to park outside their home.
At a meeting on Thursday evening the Council approved plans to ramp up the cost of parking permits in a bid to completely rid the Borough of diesel vehicles by 2023.
It is thought that the extra charges will affect 9,000 people living in the London borough when they’re introduced in April 2015.
In a report, the Council said: “The proposed charge is set at a level significant enough to encourage a move away from diesel/heavy oil vehicles, in a similar manner to the policy adopted for CO2 reduction.”
London mayor Boris Johnson last year announced plans to turn central London into an “Ultra Low Emission Zone” (ULEZ) by reducing air pollutants from road transport.
This is expected to be introduced in 2020, which is why Islington Council is planning to reduce the ownership of diesel vehicles in the area over the next few years.
‘Diesel pollutants linked to diseases’
Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, Cllr Claudia Webbe, said: “We’re committed to improving air quality in Islington, and diesel fumes are a major cause of air pollution.
“Pollutants in diesel exhausts have been linked to heart and lung diseases, which are major causes of serious and long-term health issues and even death in Islington, and the surcharge will encourage a move away from diesel.
“We also need the Mayor of London to do his share, especially replacing high-polluting buses and tackling polluting lorries that travel through our streets.”
Previously, the Council revealed it was targeting idling vehicles with a £20 fine.
SMMT urges Islington Council to reconsider
It’s since emerged that the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and traders (SMMT) urged the council to reconsider the proposals before Thursday’s decision.
In a letter to Islington Council, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “We are concerned that the proposals to levy a £96 surcharge on parking permits for all diesel vehicles are disproportionate and do not recognise the huge technological advances made in recent years to make diesel vehicles cleaner.
“Today’s diesel vehicles are light-years away from those built just a decade ago. Intelligent engine design and highly efficient exhaust after-treatments, including particulate filters, now capture more than 99 per cent of particulates and around two-thirds of NOx emissions from diesel vehicles. In addition, diesel engines make a significant contribution to reductions in new car CO2 emissions, which have reduced by 29 per cent since 2000. The introduction of the new Euro 6 standards from September means there will be even greater improvements.
“The diesel surcharge will discourage uptake of the very latest diesel vehicles and could threaten further improvements in air quality and efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.”