Westminster is going to become the first council in the UK to charge drivers of diesel vehicles extra money to park as city center throughout London fight air pollution.
The charge will be presented for a trial period from April. Motorists of diesel-powered cars and vans will pay an extra 50%, which at present rates would be an additional ₤ 2.45 an hour to park on the street in Marylebone, among the most polluted areas of the district.
Auto emissions, particularly diesel fumes, are a progressively prevalent problem in the capital, which breached its annual air pollution limit just five days into 2017. A cold wave with really still air, thick traffic and the appeal of wood-burning stoves integrated to push London into a “very high” alert for air pollution, with researchers reporting the highest levels of particulates in the environment in six years.
The alert triggered the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, to criticize the “shameful state of London’s toxic air” and contacted the government to do more.
Cllr David Harvey stated: “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 well being.
“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.”
Harvey is the Westminster city council cabinet member for the environment, sports and community.
Westminster city council says the extra money raised through the trial of the “polluter pays” parking plan will be invested in enhancing sustainable transport. If the plan is successful in changing people’s behavior it could be rolled out to other parts of the borough, the council stated.