The Times newspaper says that “Drivers of petrol and diesel cars will face higher charges to use private car parks under a plan to tackle pollution”.

Times newspaper article.
The Times transport correspondent doesn’t understand that CitiPark in Clipstone Street Fitzrovia is charging diesel drivers less than Westminster council does. The Times, 20 July 2017.

The article by transport correspondent Graeme Paton goes on to say that car park operator CitiPark will “impose a levy on all but the most fuel-efficient vehicles as part of a national drive to cut emissions”, and has already rolled out the scheme at its Clipstone Street car park in Fitzrovia.

Paton also refers to Westminster council’s introduction of “a 50 per cent levy on diesel cars using roadside parking bays”.

But it seems The Times’ transport correspondent cannot get his head around simple arithmetic.

The Clipstone Street car park is in Zone F, and on-street parking for diesel vehicles is subject to the surcharge he refers to.

With a charge of only £5 per hour it is actually much cheaper to park a diesel car in CitiPark’s car park than it is on the street outside at £7.35 per hour.

Citipark — far from discouraging diesel in Fitzrovia — is actually undermining Westminster council’s modest efforts to tackle pollution by undercutting their parking charges for diesel cars.