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Islington Council Wages War On Diesel Car Owners

By raccars Published

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Increasingly beleaguered diesel car owners in the UK are now facing even more restrictions as Islington Council confirms that it intends to charge diesel drivers an extra £96 per year for residents' parking. The decision was taken last week in a Council meeting, with the aim of making Islington a diesel car free borough by 2023.

It is estimated that there are 9,000 diesel cars owned by residents of the London borough, who will all be forced to pay extra when the new charges take effect in April this year.

Similar plans are being entertained by London mayor, Boris Johnson, who announced last year that he plans reduce the level of air pollution coming from road vehicles, to make central London an Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). The scheme is set to take effect from 2020 and Islington Council is planning ahead, to cut the number of diesel car owners in its borough.

Councillor Claudia Webbe is the executive member for environment and transport in Islington and claims that the Council is committed to improving the quality of air in the borough. She pointed the finger at diesel fumes as a significant contributor to levels of air pollution.

Diesel exhaust fumes are being linked to a number of health problems, including diseases of the heart and lungs, other serious illnesses and even death. Ms Webbe suggests that subjecting motorists to a surcharge for owning a diesel car will encourage them to consider alternative, allegedly cleaner powertrains when buying a car. She also called upon Boris Johnson to take action to replace London's high polluting vehicles, such as buses and lorries, with more environmentally friendly options. Islington Council has previously revealed that a £20 fine would be levied upon idling vehicles in the borough.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has not been in support of Islington Council's decision, stating its concern in a letter. The SMMT claims that a charge of £96 is disproportionate and fails to take into account the fact that diesel vehicles have become much cleaner in recent years, as the result of huge amounts of research and technological advances. The letter pointed out that there is a huge difference in the amount of pollution produced by new diesel cars and those produced even ten years ago. The Society also claims that diesel engines have played a large part in reducing new car CO2 emissions, which have fallen by nearly a third since 2000.

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