Greater London borough becomes first authority to penalise diesel drivers, with a £2.40 increase in hourly parking prices

Westminster City Council will become the first UK authority to penalise diesel drivers with more expensive parking prices.

The Greater London borough will charge diesel cars 4p per minute more, which equates to £2.40 an hour and is 50% higher than the cost of parking a petrol-engined car, to park within its boundaries in a pilot scheme that starts on 3 April.

The change is designed to deter diesel drivers from entering the Westminster area in a bid to reduce diesel-related pollution. The council said the area of Marylebone suffers some of the highest pollution levels in London, so it is enforcing a ‘polluter pays’ principle to fight the problem.

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The increase will only apply to visitors, meaning parking permit prices for local residents will remain unchanged. The council said extra money raised from the price hike would be invested in sustainable transport initiatives.

David Harvey, cabinet member for environment, sports and community, said: “Residents and visitors tell us all the time that air quality is a key concern in central London and we have consulted with our partners and local stakeholders on this practical step in improving our health and wellbeing.

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“We have had a positive impact and reduced vehicle emissions through our anti-idling campaign days and by encouraging sustainable and active travel. Additional charges for diesel vehicles will mean people think twice about using highly polluting cars and invest in cleaner transport that will make a real difference in the quality of air we breathe and our environment.”

However, FairFuelUK founder Howard Cox believes the scheme is unfair. He said “The decision by Westminster Council to add 50% to the cost of parking diesel vehicles is just greedy, unscrupulous money grabbing using dubious emissions evidence as the reason to fleece hard-working motorists.

"FairFuelUK has been calling for a grown-up debate regarding incentivising older diesel vehicles to change to cleaner fuels for the past seven years. Instead we are seeing more and more short-sighted, selfish local authorities looking at penalising diesel drivers with punitive taxation, congestion fees and now by hiking parking charges. Diesel drivers already pay more at the pumps to fill up than petrol. Other nations subsidise diesel with lower duty levels compared with petrol.”

London is among the worst cities in Europe for transport-related pollution, with Brixton Road in the city’s south exceeding its annual limit for nitrogen dioxide levels just five days into 2017. The levels of nitrogen dioxide had exceeded 200 micrograms per cubic metre 20 times by the 5 January, which is two occasions more than the EU’s limit for the whole year. Last year, the same limit was broken after eight days on Putney High Street.

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Comments
28

30 January 2017
The owners would not see a penny paid by VW for this increase.

30 January 2017
Poor air quality is a genuine crisis but this looks like a cynical move by Westminster. The borough is plagued by executive cars left idling for long periods while drivers wait for their masters - fleets of diesel Mercs and Range Rovers. This will do nothing to tackle this problem.

30 January 2017
scrap wrote:

Poor air quality is a genuine crisis but this looks like a cynical move by Westminster. The borough is plagued by executive cars left idling for long periods while drivers wait for their masters - fleets of diesel Mercs and Range Rovers. This will do nothing to tackle this problem.

I quite agree scrap. Most air pollution in big cities comes from a combination of all the natural gas heating systems, all vehicles petrol and diesel including all trains, buses, police, ambulance,council, building works, tyres, brakes, etc. Only a very tiny part from private cars that are parking in the area, no others are affected. I you just think for a minute or two it is obvious diesel cars are not the problem as cities with no diesel cars have the worst pollution like previously Los Angeles and currently Chinese cities.

30 January 2017
Campervan wrote:
scrap wrote:

Poor air quality is a genuine crisis but this looks like a cynical move by Westminster. The borough is plagued by executive cars left idling for long periods while drivers wait for their masters - fleets of diesel Mercs and Range Rovers. This will do nothing to tackle this problem.

I quite agree scrap. Most air pollution in big cities comes from a combination of all the natural gas heating systems, all vehicles petrol and diesel including all trains, buses, police, ambulance,council, building works, tyres, brakes, etc. Only a very tiny part from private cars that are parking in the area, no others are affected. I you just think for a minute or two it is obvious diesel cars are not the problem as cities with no diesel cars have the worst pollution like previously Los Angeles and currently Chinese cities.

I live right here where this is proposed and something has to be done. Admittedly this is probably not the most effective way to begin but at least it's a start. There are countless scientific studies out there and the consensus puts at least 30% of PM10 particulates coming directly from private diesel vehicles (not tiny at all) so anything to discourage this is something. And lets concentrate on PM10 it's the real killer aroun these parts..Claims about gas heating are a bit of a red herring. Any problems from this are relatively small and concern PM2.5 not 10..there is a growing problem with PM10 in London from the fashion for wood burning stoves and other (illegal) uses of burning wood but not from heating systems. New buses are also increasingly clean. Black cabs, yes a real problem. There needs to be a concerted effort to encourage and subsidise scrappage and replacement with the new electric and hybrid versions but so far the amount proposed is minimal and uptake looks likely to be slow. Lorries and other vans yes too a real problem (although again the very newest not so bad). Builders and other service providers appear to be the worst. I don't see the 'fleets' of cars that scrap mentions idling way except outside Claridges or other spots and they generally are not idling (modern stop start systems etc). But I do see builders, taxis, delivery people idling all over all the time. There already exists bye laws allowing fines in Westminster but just like the cyclists in Hyde Park no-one seems to be giving them . And finally campervan your claims about LA are way off...I lived there until moving back here 5 years ago and I can assure you central London is way more polluted. Don't believe me? Check it out the stats are easy to find...waqi.info or airview.blueair.com - all out there. Currently central West LA has readings in the single figures while central London is over 100 and unhealthy alerts. You're right about China (Indian cities perhaps even worse) but way way off with LA and USA. There the pollution issues arise from ozone and climate combining with the cars and heating but it is specific, sporadic and standing on the side of the road is not filling you lungs with lethal PM10 as they are walking down Marylebone Road. Personally like xxxx I'm bored with all the misinformation on these forums. I think all diesels in central London should be discouraged and legislated against asap. All ICE long term. It is so bad around here these days I am seriously considering my future in London so until these issues affect you (and I hope for you they don't) stick with the facts.

30 January 2017
nivison wrote:
Campervan wrote:
scrap wrote:

Poor air quality is a genuine crisis but this looks like a cynical move by Westminster. The borough is plagued by executive cars left idling for long periods while drivers wait for their masters - fleets of diesel Mercs and Range Rovers. This will do nothing to tackle this problem.

I quite agree scrap. Most air pollution in big cities comes from a combination of all the natural gas heating systems, all vehicles petrol and diesel including all trains, buses, police, ambulance,council, building works, tyres, brakes, etc. Only a very tiny part from private cars that are parking in the area, no others are affected. I you just think for a minute or two it is obvious diesel cars are not the problem as cities with no diesel cars have the worst pollution like previously Los Angeles and currently Chinese cities.

I live right here where this is proposed and something has to be done. Admittedly this is probably not the most effective way to begin but at least it's a start. There are countless scientific studies out there and the consensus puts at least 30% of PM10 particulates coming directly from private diesel vehicles (not tiny at all) so anything to discourage this is something. And lets concentrate on PM10 it's the real killer aroun these parts..Claims about gas heating are a bit of a red herring. Any problems from this are relatively small and concern PM2.5 not 10..there is a growing problem with PM10 in London from the fashion for wood burning stoves and other (illegal) uses of burning wood but not from heating systems. New buses are also increasingly clean. Black cabs, yes a real problem. There needs to be a concerted effort to encourage and subsidise scrappage and replacement with the new electric and hybrid versions but so far the amount proposed is minimal and uptake looks likely to be slow. Lorries and other vans yes too a real problem (although again the very newest not so bad). Builders and other service providers appear to be the worst. I don't see the 'fleets' of cars that scrap mentions idling way except outside Claridges or other spots and they generally are not idling (modern stop start systems etc). But I do see builders, taxis, delivery people idling all over all the time. There already exists bye laws allowing fines in Westminster but just like the cyclists in Hyde Park no-one seems to be giving them . And finally campervan your claims about LA are way off...I lived there until moving back here 5 years ago and I can assure you central London is way more polluted. Don't believe me? Check it out the stats are easy to find...waqi.info or airview.blueair.com - all out there. Currently central West LA has readings in the single figures while central London is over 100 and unhealthy alerts. You're right about China (Indian cities perhaps even worse) but way way off with LA and USA. There the pollution issues arise from ozone and climate combining with the cars and heating but it is specific, sporadic and standing on the side of the road is not filling you lungs with lethal PM10 as they are walking down Marylebone Road. Personally like xxxx I'm bored with all the misinformation on these forums. I think all diesels in central London should be discouraged and legislated against asap. All ICE long term. It is so bad around here these days I am seriously considering my future in London so until these issues affect you (and I hope for you they don't) stick with the facts.

Apologies peeps...a dyslexic moment. Of course for PM 10 I should have said PM 2.5 and vv...finer more dangerous...

30 January 2017
"Diesel cars should be phased out to cut the tens of thousands of deaths caused each year from air pollution, the government’s chief medical officer has said.
Dame Sally Davies, said that she drove a car with a petrol engine because of the polluting effects of diesel."
Anyone out there know more than the chief medical officer.
Wonder if in 20 years time we're say why didn't we do it earlier in the same way we'd wished we'd removed lead from petrol

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

30 January 2017
What does she know about engineering ?! This is nonsense - petrol engines had a pollution problem 25 years ago, what did we do ? We imposed very strict emissions regs, we didnt ban them, we didnt turn them into pariahs, we cleaned them up. Why sbould it be any different with diesel ? Part of the problem of where we are today is that fact that equally strict emissions regs were not applied to diesels at the same time. Diesel cars from the last couple of years are much cleaner, why should someone with one pay more ? And of course the solution to all this is to retro fit emissions equipment to the older cars, but no, people want to scrap them, which is a totally non environmentally friendly way to try and sort them problem after all the emissions that were emitted making them in the first place. But of course, as usual in this post truth era, logic and common sense have long since f ed off. Oh and by the way the ONLY reason we removed lead form petrol was because catalytic converters were going to become mandatory and lead kills them. Bad as lead was in petrol, are you really so naive that you thought it was banned for any other reason ?

30 January 2017
Will diesel taxi journeys be 50% more expensive. What about the bus? not many alternatives to diesel in London. I am all for cleaning up the air, but i am sure visitors to the area are adding rather less to the problem than other areas

30 January 2017
artill wrote:

Will diesel taxi journeys be 50% more expensive.

a)Because parking makes up very little of the total charge. b)Taxi drivers hardly ever pay to park in central London

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

30 January 2017
artill wrote:

Will diesel taxi journeys be 50% more expensive. What about the bus? not many alternatives to diesel in London. I am all for cleaning up the air, but i am sure visitors to the area are adding rather less to the problem than other areas

Service buses get their fuel duty rebated!

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