A 50 percent surcharge will apply to drivers of pre-2015 diesel vehicles paying to park in Fitzrovia, Marylebone and Hyde Park zones from today (Monday 26 June 2017) as part of Westminster council’s Low Emission Neighbourhood initiative.
The hourly charge for pre-2015 diesel vehicles will be £7.35 and all other vehicles will continue to be charged £4.90 per hour, says the council. The surcharge will be added automatically at the point of purchase of parking time.
The area as a whole suffers from some of the highest levels of air pollution in Europe. The 50 percent surcharge level has been introduced to deter the heaviest polluting vehicles from parking in the zone, says the council.
Other measures being implemented include an expansion of on-street electric charging provision, and deployment of Air Quality Champions to tell drivers to stop idling engines when stationary.
The new charges apply to visiting vehicle owners and not residents parking permits. In neighbouring Camden since April 2016 there has been an additional parking charge for diesel vehicles of resident, business, doctor and market trader permit holders.
Fitzrovia has some of the lowest levels of car use in the UK — less than 25 percent of households have access to a car or van — and the neighbourhood is served well by public transport and many people choose to walk and cycle. But the area is blighted by large volumes of through traffic. The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association is calling for tougher action on air pollution.