Westminster city council is to consider rolling out a parking â€˜surchargeâ€™ for pre-2015 diesel cars to park at sites across the borough, as part of its efforts to tackle air pollution.
Under changes being consulted on by the council, which could come into effect from late 2018 or early 2019, residents and businesses are being asked to comment on the plans to add 50% to the cost of parking for pre-2015 diesels, as well as potentially pre 2006 petrol cars.
The local authority has trialled the measure at parking locations across its Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood, which it claims has reduced the amount of older diesel vehicles parking in the zone by up to 16% â€˜without obvious displacement to nearby areasâ€™.
According to the council, different zones have different costs but in the West End this would mean a Â£4.90 hourly charge would go up to Â£7.35 for pre-2015 diesel vehicles.
The smallest increase would be in the north of the borough (Harrow Road, Queenâ€™s Park and Maida Vale) where Â£1.70 per hour would become Â£2.55. The consultation asks whether 50% is the right level to set the surcharge across Westminster.
Residents are also being asked whether the diesel parking surcharge should be rolled out in all parking zones across Westminster at once, or if central London (parking zones D, E, F, G) should go first with the charge introduced in other zones in six monthsâ€™ time.
Cllr Tim Mitchell, Westminster city councilâ€™s cabinet member for environment and city management, said: â€œOur experience in Marylebone proves that the diesel parking surcharge works to improve air quality, by reducing the number of journeys made by polluting diesel cars.
â€œResidents tell us that air quality is their number one concern, which is why we want to roll out this change across Westminster so that all communities can benefit.
â€œWe welcome views from everybody as part of this consultation. However, we are absolutely committed to taking steps to improve air quality in Westminster and we hope to get a clear endorsement from local people as to how far they would like us to go with these plans.â€
According to the council, between June 2017 and July 2018 there were almost 3.7 million diesel parking transactions across Westminster, with research suggesting 46% of these were for pre-2015 diesel vehicles, which would be targeted by the diesel parking surcharge.
Should the diesel parking surcharge be implemented, a total of 284 streets in Westminster City Council will have a Â£7.35 charge for pre-2015 diesel vehicles. Consultation on the proposals runs until 12 September.
Westminster diesel parking surcharge consultation