Westminster imposes parking surcharge on older diesels

London ‘D-Charge’ set to increase parking cost for pre-2015 diesels by 50%

Further tightening its clampdown on urban air pollution, Westminster Council has announced increased parking charges for older diesel cars.

The announcement affects owners of diesel cars registered before 2015, who will now be liable for a £2.45 ‘D-Charge’ parking surcharge when parking in certain areas of the capital.

When ‘D-Charge’ is added to the cost of an hour’s parking, it will increase prices by 50% in Hyde Park, Marylebone and parts of Fitzrovia. The changes make Westminster the first council in Britain to impose specific penalties for diesel drivers seeking a parking space.

At present, Westminster charges £4.90 for an hour of parking, but drivers of diesel cars registered before 2015 will now face a £7.35 hourly charge. The City of Westminster has said it hopes the surcharge will discourage motorists from using polluting diesel vehicles in the capital. It claims that money generated by the surcharge will be spent on “sustainable transport” initiatives.

A planned diesel-specific parking surcharge has been planned since January 2017, when councilor David Harvey, Westminster’s cabinet member for environment, sports and community, explained: “Additional charges for diesel vehicles will mean people think twice about using highly polluting cars and invest in cleaner transport that’ll make a real difference to the quality of air we breathe.”

Other ideas that aim to reduce air pollution in the capital include plans recently announced by the mayor’s office for pay-per-mile road charging in Central London – intended to replace the current London Congestion Charge. Under these plans – under public consultation until October – drivers of the most polluting cars would pay an extra £10 to drive in central London.

Earlier this year, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, called the capital’s pollution a “public health emergency”. London has been experiencing particularly high pollution of late, with electronic signs urging drivers to turn off their cars’ engines when stopped in traffic. However, measures to reduce the effects of exhaust emissions aren’t restricted to urban areas, either, drivers on the M1 motorway could face a 10mph speed-limit reduction due to high pollution around Sheffield.

Recent months have seen a steady fall in the popularity of diesel engines – perhaps linked to research indicating that they’re worse for public health and the environment than was previously thought. Before the research, many took the fact that diesel cars typically emit far less carbon dioxide (CO2) than their petrol equivalents to mean that they were less polluting overall.

Experts have indicated that the comparably high levels of particulate matter and mono-nitrogen oxides in diesel fumes present a significant a health risk. Westminster Council cited Marylebone’s “complex urban air quality problem”, which includes “levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that exceed recommended health levels and very high levels of particulate matter (PM)” as being the root cause behind the new parking tariffs.

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Car ownership
25 Feb 2021

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Should I buy an insurance write-off? Cat C, Cat D, Cat S and Cat N car explained
Cat D cars, Cat C & insurance write-offs: complete guide
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Should I buy an insurance write-off? Cat C, Cat D, Cat S and Cat N car explained

Best new car deals 2021
Jaguar F-Pace SUV
Deals
5 Mar 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Tips & advice

View All
What does TSI stand for?
TSI badge
Tips and advice
5 Mar 2021

What does TSI stand for?

What car should I buy? How to decide
Ford Fiesta colours
Car buying
5 Mar 2021

What car should I buy? How to decide

Top 3 used 4x4 estate cars for £12,000
Top 3 used 4x4 estate cars for £12,000 - hero
Tips and advice
5 Mar 2021

Top 3 used 4x4 estate cars for £12,000

Plug-in car grant: a complete guide
Mazda MX-30 charging
Tips and advice
3 Mar 2021

Plug-in car grant: a complete guide

Best cars

View All
Best motorway cars
BMW 5 Series driving
Best cars
4 Mar 2021

Best motorway cars

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars
Ford Fiesta driving
Best cars
4 Mar 2021

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars

Most economical family cars
Skoda Octavia hatchback
Best cars
1 Mar 2021

Most economical family cars

Best convertibles
MINI Convertible
Best cars
1 Mar 2021

Best convertibles