Islington Council votes for a £96 additional 'diesel' charge for resident parking permits
16 January 2015

Islington Council in north London is thought to have become the first local authority to put a surcharge on the ownership of diesel-powered vehicles. On 15 January, the 48 members of the council (47 Labour and 1 Green) voted to increase the cost of a parking permit by £96 per year for all diesel vehicles registered with the borough.

If the vote is carried through the three-day ‘cooling off’ period, the charges will begin in April.

While London black cabs will be exempt in the Islington scheme, commercial vehicles with more than a 3.5-tonne overall weight will only be considered for exemptions on a ‘case-by-case’ basis.

Islington isn’t the first council to introduce surcharges for diesel vehicle parking permits. Kensington and Chelsea introduced an £18 surcharge, but it exempted diesel cars with newest Euro 5-rated engines.

However, the ‘blanket’ nature of the surcharge in Islington has sounded alarm bells within the car industry, sources have told Autocar.

It is feared that moves against all diesel vehicles – rather than just the oldest and most polluting examples – will be the beginning of a demonization of diesel as a fuel and seriously hamper the car industry’s attempts to meet the 2020 EU fleet laws for CO2 emissions.

Just ahead of the council vote, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) wrote to the Islington Council executive to argue against the surcharge plans.

“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,” the SMMT said.

"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.

“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.

“We urge you to reconsider this proposal and would welcome a meeting with you and colleagues at your earliest convenience to discuss how technology is delivering improvements in air quality and CO2.”

Ford – which has just opened a new facility in Dagenham to build the latest-generation diesel engines – is also thought to have strongly backed the SMMT’s stance.

Recent publicity, especially in the capital, about the levels of particulate and nitrogen oxide pollution is starting to shift sentiment against diesel power, while London mayor Boris Johnson is consulting on his plans for an ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’, which would cover central London and run on a ‘24/7' basis from 7 September 2020.

Many in the automotive world fear that this means no diesel vehicle would be allowed into central London by the end of the decade, aside from diesel-electric hybrid buses. Such developments in the capital usually heavily influence thinking around the rest of the country.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Join the debate

Comments
18

16 January 2015
Whatever the pros and cons of this, I'm struggling to understand why someone living in Islington would choose a diesel powered car? Is that not just asking for DPF trouble?

18 January 2015
scotty5 wrote:

Whatever the pros and cons of this, I'm struggling to understand why someone living in Islington would choose a diesel powered car? Is that not just asking for DPF trouble?

Many people don't get a choice if it is a company car these days. i didn't. Especially at Golf/3er/C-Klasse/A4 level. The bean counters in the lease companies won't allow it. I lived in K&C with a diesel car and it spent a lot of time unused on the street I used the Tube for work and Addison Lee for trips with clients). It was only used for longer trips across the UK or Europe where a diesel engine really comes in. Yes, I know lots of people with BMWs with DPF problems. They had to create a long distance trip at weekends to prevent problems. Still a chance to take the family away.

TS7

16 January 2015
... diseasels or labour/green party imbeciles. For the first time in 48 1/2 years of existence I'm confused.

16 January 2015
You reap what you sow, they voted in these nutjobs, including a Green! seriously?

16 January 2015
Acht. What's the point? That's only £8 a month, and if you can afford to live in London, you can afford that. What are they going to be doing with the extra money?

18 January 2015
superstevie wrote:

Acht. What's the point? That's only £8 a month, and if you can afford to live in London, you can afford that. What are they going to be doing with the extra money?

Superstevie, I take it you don't live in London. Yes it is only £8 a month, but when you come to renew the parking permit its another £100 to fork out that you would rather keep for yourself. Rent on a 2 bed is around £2,000 a month in Islington. A tube travel ticket is nearly a fiver into the city if you don't use your car. Then there is an £8 daily congestion charge and NCP parking at £10/half hour if you do use your car. These all add up, and suddenly that 'loaded' salary of £3/4/5,000 a month quickly disappears. I've just checked the parking permit charges (as I have never lived in Islington , only K&C and Wandsworth) and a 12 month permit for a car emitting 155CO2g/km is £121. So this £96 surcharge is quite substantial, nearly double your bill for the average diesel car owner. I've pasted the charges below. I think K&C have a much more sensible approach to this, but then they would.

Band​ ​Pre-2001 (cc) ​Post-2001 (CO2g/km) ​12 months ​6 months ​3 months ​1 month
A​ Electric​ 0-100​ Free​ Free​ Free​ Free​
B​ 1-900​ 101-110​ £15.50​ £7.75​ £5.75​ £5.75​
C​ 901-1100 111-120​ £28​ £14​ £7​ £5.75​
D​ 1101-1200​​ 121-130​ £74​ £37​ £18.50​ £6.25​
E​ 1201-1300​ 131-140​ £90​ £45​ £22.50​ £7.50​
F​ 1301-1399​ 141-150​ £97​ £48.50​ £24.25​ £8.25​
G​ 1400-1500​ 151-165​ £121​ £60.50​ £30.25​ £10​
H​ 1501-1650​ 166-175​ £139​ £69.50​ £34.75​ £11.50​
I​ 1651-1850​ 176-185​ £163​ £81.50​ £40.75​ £14​
J​ 1851-2100​ 186-200​ £206​ £103​ £51.50​ £17.50​
K​ 2101-2500​ 201-225​ £240​ £120​ £60​ £20​
L​ 2501-2750​ 226-255​ £336​ £168​ £84​ £28​
M​ 2751 and above​ 256 and above​ £434​ £217​ £108.50​ £36.50

16 January 2015
unless they have reduced the charge for non-diesel vehicles. It's just an excuse to increase the council's income

16 January 2015
Funny how everyone has been encouraged to buy diesels.

AV

16 January 2015
...by a motoring press seemingly unable to do anything than worship the products of Germany's car makers who make lots of them. The nasty emissions from these cars (and the reliability problems) are not new. But they are rarely mentioned in the mainstream motoring press.
Meanwhile, to yah-booing from Clarkson et al the Japanese carmakers have established an enormous lead with petrol-electric hybrids some of which, I would add, are (extremely well) made in the UK (had the motoring press spent a bit more time encouraging readers to buy them, the air we all breathe would bit a good bit cleaner and the economy might be in better shape too).
Finally, the Germans have woken up to the coming legislative tsunami and are scrambling to get hybrids to market, accompanied by sycophantic reviews from many of the motoring journalists who have, up until now, professed to despise them.
I note that BMW are, it seems, developing a whole new range of cars that are based on a facsimile of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV underpinnings. None of the journalists who've cheered the diesel lobby on has acknowledged this extraordinary fact.

16 January 2015
...AV. I've been banging on about it this for ever here and elsewhere....whilst these totally unnecessary diesel cars spew out sh*t for us to breathe, the press keep on reviewing and recommending diesels, with an occasional nod away from one or two journos...all because like the governments VAG (and others) have deep pockets for persuasion. It may be lacking in finesse, but well done Islington. Someone needed to start changing something, and pronto. The sooner the market falls out of love with diesel engines the better for all of us. It speaks volumes that in terms of noxious emissions a petrol car from 2007 is as clean if not cleaner than a EURO 6 brand new 2015 diesel....

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq