Extra Charge for Diesel Drivers Sparks Outrage
Residents of Islington, north London are being forced to pay an extra charge to park diesel cars outside their own property
"Encouraging" diesel drivers to switch
Big bosses at major car manufacturing companies have recently hit out at new charges Islington council have introduced for diesel driving residents. If those driving diesel vehicles wish to park outside their homes, they must pay a charge of £96 in order to do so. Islington council say the move will "encourage" motorists who favour diesel vehicles to opt for a more eco friendly alternative.
The councils "encouragement" comes as quite a shock to many motorists because for the past ten years, Diesel fuelled vehicles have been heavily endorsed by governing bodies and government alike due to having lower CO2 emissions than their petrol counterparts.
Diesel surcharge is "nonsense"
Bosses from BMW, Ford and Jaguar have called the charges "nonsense" and suggest it will hinder the progress being made in the modern diesel engine. CEO of BMW Group UK said "Diesel cars produce, on average, 20% less CO2 than equivalent petrol cars and so have a vital role to play in helping to arrest climate change. It is only if British drivers continue to choose diesel cars that the UK can meet its tough CO2 targets.’
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: "Today’s diesel engines are the cleanest ever, and the culmination of billions of pounds of investment by manufacturers to improve air quality."
Adding "Bans and parking taxes on diesel vehicles therefore make no sense from an environmental point of view. We need to avoid penalising one vehicle technology over another and instead encourage the uptake of the latest low emission vehicles by consumers."
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief Mike Hawes speaks at launch of stop demonising diesel campaign. pic.twitter.com/Pz6ibhVv3w— Peter Woodman (@pawoodman) March 11, 2015
A recent YouGov poll found that almost three quarters of UK adults who were surveyed said they were against penalties for the cleaner diesel engines. 56% of those surveyed actually said they were against parking surcharges all together, regardless of CO2 levels and emissions.
This shows that the majority do not want or do not see the need for any extra charges to be imposed on diesel driving residents. It's also interesting to note that nine out of ten Islington council fleet cars are powerful diesel vehicles with large engines. This somewhat smears the boroughs eco-friendly claims and throws new light on the charges being imposed.
"We don't believe their are any clean diesels"
Islington Councillor for environment and transport Claudia Webbe said “We don’t believe there are any clean diesels, not that have been created yet. We’re committed to tackling air quality and they’re proven to produce nitrogen oxide which can cause heart and lung diseases, major causes of serious and long-term health issues in Islington." adding “Independent tests of the new Euro 6 vehicles show that they omit seven times more nitrogen oxide in the urban environment than the industry’s own tests suggest.”
Mr Rice, a local resident of Islington, commented on the surcharge saying he will be hit hard by the charge and he cannot currently afford to change his vehicle. Mr Rice also made a very good point saying "In running an 88 per cent diesel fleet, by their own logic, they’re knowingly contributing to the deaths of their own residents, the hypocrisy is astounding..."
“Why not use a bit of common sense and delay the charge a year or two so people can change their cars to non-diesel – instead of punishing those of us who were encouraged to go diesel a few years ago by the government, and can’t just buy a new car on the whim of the local council.”
With local people, manufacturing giants and industry professionals all echoing each other in calls for reconsideration, motorists in Islington can only wait and hope their council will listen to them.