Diesels unfairly targeted by uninformed decision making and random penalties
DIESEL drivers haven’t had it easy in the past 12 months. The Government has just announced it will increase taxes on new diesels next year if they fail to keep up with real-world emissions, while cities such as London are leading the charge against existing owners.
Islington has become the latest council to unfairly target diesel drivers, by requiring them to pay an additional £2 for parking. The blanket rule, which comes into force early next year, will see drivers of all diesel vehicles – regardless of age or type – forced to pay an extra £2 an hour to park in council-run bays.
The council said that residents “suffer from some of the highest pollution levels in London”, and went on to blame diesels as a major source of air pollution in the borough.
What the council planners clearly haven’t understood is the difference between new and old diesel cars. Those that fall under the current Euro 6 criteria (from September 2015) are far cleaner than their predecessors.
The Islington example highlights the hole the Government has dug for itself in the Air Quality Plan it announced in May, where local authorities were told to deal with air pollution issues themselves. Ambitious targets without proper oversight lead to scenarios such as this, where groups of motorists are unfairly targeted by plans drawn up by uninformed politicians.
If the Government is serious about reducing air pollution fairly, it can’t just give local authorities carte blanche. Step in and come up with a clear plan that doesn’t unfairly target over a third of Britain’s drivers.
“Councils clearly haven’t understood differences between clean new diesels and old cars”