Commenting on news that Islington Council in London is to introduce a diesel surcharge for short stay parking, RAC public affairs manager Nicholas Lyes said:
“This move by Islington Council will further antagonise drivers of diesel vehicles in the borough who are already having to pay more for parking close to where they live. Those that rely on their own car – including families and small businesses – might dearly wish to switch to a new, cleaner vehicle but the cost of doing so is almost certainly what’s stopping them.
“Clearly, Islington Council feels compelled to do something to improve air quality in the borough, but targeting parked vehicles when other options may be available indicates they perhaps are more interested in raising revenue from diesel owners. Unfortunately for them though, emissions of nitrogen dioxide don’t just come from private cars, they come from buses and taxis and other sources such as factories. And of course, replacing older buses and encouraging newer, cleaner private hire vehicles both fall under Transport for London’s remit.
“What’s more, imposing additional penalties on diesel vehicles could also inadvertently force people into petrol cars which we know is bad from a greenhouse gas point of view.
“Transport for London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will eventually cover a wide geographical area, including Islington, and arguably this is a more sensible way to target the most polluting vehicles which are driving around the impacted area.”