Islington Council has gone a step further than the Mayor of London by proposing slapping all diesel vehicles – including Euro 6 diesels and diesel hybrids – with a £2 per hour visitor parking surcharge from early next year.
Unlike central London’s T-charge, which permits Euro 4 diesel vehicles, and the forthcoming ultra-low emission zone, which will allow Euro 6 diesel vehicles, the council is targeting all diesel vehicles with its surcharge.
It has reiterated its call for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to ban all diesel vehicles from Greater London by 2025.
The council already has a diesel surcharge in place for resident parking permits and believes the short-stay visitor parking charge will help to discourage the use of diesel vehicles and reduce harmful emissions in the borough.
It estimates that between 25-30% of the 1.59 million short-stay visitor parking sessions are made by diesel and heavy oil vehicles
Councillor Claudia Webbe, Islington Council's executive member for environment and transport, said: “London is on the brink of an air-quality emergency, with traffic pollutants linked to health problems that are shortening the lifespans of residents.
“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 is not right that local residents should have to bear the burden of through-traffic pollution on their health.
“We hope that this 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.
“We should not forget though that air quality is a problem for all London residents and we would encourage other local authorities to consider implementing a borough-wide diesel surcharge.
“The Mayor of London also has to do his part, and we would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our call to the Mayor for a diesel-free London by 2025.”
The report recommending the surcharge will be considered by the council executive on November 23, and is available on the council website.
A growing number of councils including Camden, Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster have all introduced similar parking policies in recent years.