Many of the diesel cars parked in Westminster will be subject to a brand new diesel surcharge from this Monday [5th August] to help take on the challenge of low air quality.
Following a successful trial of a 50 per cent surcharge for on street parking in part of the borough, Westminster City Council confirmed earlier this year that it would be rolling out the scheme across the rest of the city. The scheme follows positive feedback from residents.
It is expected that journeys into central London by older and polluting diesel vehicles could be cut by more than a quarter of a million. Pre-2015 diesels are the ones being targeted as they are the heaviest polluters.
Under the scheme, an additional surcharge ranging from 85p to £2.45 per hour on top of parking fees would apply depending on where in Westminster, with more central locations attracting a higher premium.
Cllr Tim Mitchell, Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for environment and city management, said:
“We are standing up and taking action to improve air quality in Westminster, the evidence proves that the diesel parking surcharge can make a difference.
“Our residents were clear that they want us to roll out the 50 per cent surcharge out across the city. Air quality is one of their top concerns, and so this move is an important and logical next step in our commitment to improving the air we breathe.”
Over the last two years the Council has trialled the diesel parking surcharge in parking zone F, largely comprising Marylebone and Fitzrovia. The scheme has been very successful, reducing the amount of older diesel vehicles parking in the Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood by 16 per cent, without any obvious displacement to nearby parking zones.
Westminster was the first London borough to introduce a surcharge where polluting vehicles paid an extra 50 per cent on their hourly parking rates. Income from the surcharge will contribute to schemes to improve air quality in the city.
Last year the Council publicly consulted on how to extend this policy city wide. More than 1,300 responded and the message from residents in particular was clear in backing the roll out the diesel surcharge across the city.
With 9.9 million drivers in the capital road transport contributes to over half of the deadliest emissions (Nox and PM2.5) and the council has made tackling poor air quality a top priority.
This latest measure is one of many initiatives the council has introduced in recent years to improve air quality, including; installation of EV rapid charging points, the ongoing #DontBeIdle anti-idling campaign which has gained support from over 14,000 people and the schools clean air fund aimed at reducing the number of vehicles traveling on the roads around schools at the beginning and end of the school day.