Islington council is to consider the introduction of a borough-wide surcharge for diesel vehicles using short stay parking, as a further measure to discourage diesel drivers from entering the borough.
The charge will be 2 per hour and will apply to all diesel fuelled vehicles, the north London borough council has revealed.
Islington council already has a diesel surcharge in place for resident parking permits and the council has also called for a London-wide ban on diesel cars by 2025 (see airqualitynews.com story).
The authority estimates that between 25-30% of the 1.59 million short-stay visitor parking sessions are made by diesel and heavy oil vehicles within the borough.
The council believes the surcharge, which is due to come into effect in early 2018, will help to discourage the use of diesel vehicles and reduce harmful emissions.
Councillor Claudia Webbe, Islington’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 23 November.