Council plans £40 extra parking charge for some diesels

diesel exhaust

Lambeth council is to consult on a plan to charge residents £40 a year more to park some diesel vehicles.

In a full year, the diesel surcharge would raise about £100,000 from 4,500 vehicles.

A report for councillors says that the charge would discourage ownership of diesel vehicles that emit high levels of nitrogen oxides by encouraging residents to  buy vehicles with lower emissions of these harmful gases.

Brixton Road became the road in London most affected by nitrogen dioxide in January this year.

The report says that the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 allows local authorities to run a statutory consultation to amend parking charges for residents.

Lambeth council’s cabinet recommended the diesel surcharge in February this year and the full council adopted it as part of its revenue and capital budget a week later.

The consultation will last for three weeks and the council says residents will get two weeks’ notice of the introduction of the charge.

Parking permits in the borough are already designed to “incentivise” the use of vehicles with lower carbon emissions.

But a loophole in the current bands allows many diesel vehicles to be in a lower carbon category while they emit high levels of deadly nitrogen oxides.

The surcharge would not affect diesels registered after September 2015, but the council says that some heavily polluting diesel vehicles will not qualify for the government’s voluntary decommissioining grant until 2020.

The planned Lambeth diesel surcharge of £40 a year compares with ones of £96 in Islington; £50 in Hackney; and £90 in Merton. Southwark, Wandsworth and Croydon do not yet have a surcharge.

The council consulted “stakeholders” on the plan in June this year and received one objection from the Alliance of British Drivers, which lobbies for “Britain’s beleaguered drivers”.