Currently reading: Islington to introduce £2 diesel surcharge for parking
The North London borough is introducing the levy in a bid to improve air quality; it's the latest move on the war on diesel in the capital

Diesel car drivers who park in Islington, north London, will have to pay an extra £2 per hour from January 2018 in a bid to improve air quality.

While many schemes that penalise diesel drivers, such as London's recently introduced Toxicity Charge, only apply to older diesel cars, the parking surcharge to be introduced by Islington Council applies to all diesels, regardless of their age.

Tax penalties for diesel cars to be announced

Westminster City Council announced a similar parking scheme trial earlier this year, but that only applies to pre-2015 diesels. That levy charges visiting diesel drivers an extra £2.40 per hour to park, a 50% increase on the price for petrol vehicles.

The new scheme in Islington is the first to be borough-wide: it already has a diesel surcharge in place for resident parking, and this will continue alongside the new charge for short-stay parking.

Short-stay parking rates in Islington currently range from £1.20 to £6 an hour. The £2 levy will be enforced by a pay-by-phone app which will identify whether a vehicle is diesel-powered or not by checking its numberplate on the DVLA database.

The AA’s president, Edmund King, has slammed the move, saying that it's “unfair” and that failing to differentiate between older, more polluting diesel vehicles and newer models is “crazy”.

King continued: “Many modern diesels are cleaner than older petrol models. It would be far more effective to target the 10% of gross polluters that cause 50% of the problem. These gross polluters are often older buses, taxis and trucks. This is a diesel demonisation tax that should be scrapped.”

Islington Council said that it hopes the measure "will encourage owners of diesel vehicles to switch to cleaner, more sustainable modes of transport and lead to improved air quality in the borough”.

The council’s councillor for environment and transport, Claudia Webbe, said: “Islington straddles several major thoroughfares, with huge amounts of traffic putting out toxic diesel pollutants stopping in the borough every day.

“The main causes of death in Islington are cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases and cancer – all of which are exacerbated by diesel emissions. It isn't right that local residents should have to bear the burden of through-traffic pollution on their health."

The council has calculated that around a third of the 1.59 million short-stay visitor parking sessions are made by diesel and heavy oil vehicles.

Meanwhile, the parking trial in Westminster has reportedly resulted in the number of older diesel vehicles using parking bays dropping by more than 12%, with Westminster cabinet member David Harvey saying “the scheme is working”.

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Owners of diesel vehicles are increasingly being penalised, through congestion charges such as the T-Charge, parking surcharges and heavier taxation. Changes to car taxation in the upcoming Budget next week are expected to make owning a diesel car even more expensive.

Related stories: 

The truth about of the diesel engine 

Tax penalties for diesel cars to be announced

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405line 6 December 2017

The right thing

It's about time that diesel drivers were made to pay for the damage they've done. You got all these boring gits telling us how many miles thousand miles a year they do and why they need diesel, well then pay for it and give us petrol drivers a break from the moaning.

Pierre23 18 November 2017

King : “Many modern diesels are cleaner than older petrol"

many diesel post PDF from the 2008 area are cleaner than modern diesel which cheats diesel tests.  Nox in modern diesel are dreadful because they take perfoamnce and economy over nox and cheat test emission to pass nox limit.

Do proper tests Islington... read recent test from french government or other association  instead of jumping on the hate wagon... or is it just a very convenient way to raise cash?

Mini2 18 November 2017

100% discrimantory

This is outrageous and will do nothing to reduce CO2 emissions - which are still a problem in addition to the NoX concerns that diesels being. 

I drive an eu6 diesel because I drive over 24,000 miles per year - primarily motorway miles. It is completely unreasonable to penalise those of us who have good reason to drive a diesel versus those older models that are often poorly maintained and used only for short trips; don’t get me started on the number or taxis and vans that I’ve seen pluming black smoke out he back of them - just this week.

i recently needed to drive into Manchester City centre because the trams were off; parking was £17 for 5 hours. Add £2/hour to this and it would top £30 or more. Absolutely ridiculous - we are accelerating this far too quickly whereas provision for electric models (and development of those) isn’t moving at the same pace - certainly not in the north west, anyway.