Diesel car drivers will be charged more to park in Marylebone

Cllr David Harvey is the council's cabinet member for environment, sports and community (Pic: Westmi

Cllr David Harvey is the council's cabinet member for environment, sports and community (Pic: Westminster Council) - Credit: Archant

Drivers of diesel cars will be charged 50 per cent more to park in Marylebone under a new pilot scheme by Westminster Council.

The surcharge will rolled out as part of proposals by the town hall to clean up the air in one of the most polluted areas in the borough.

From April 3, drivers will pay £7.35 per hour compared to £4.90 for other motorists however permit holders in Marylebone will not be affected by the scheme.

Cllr David Harvey, cabinet member for environment, sports and community, said: “Residents and visitors tell us all the time that air quality is a key concern in central London and we have consulted with our partners and local stakeholders on this practical step in improving our health and wellbeing.

“We have had a positive impact and reduced vehicle emissions through our anti-idling campaign days and by encouraging sustainable and active travel.

“Additional charges for diesel vehicles will mean people think twice about using highly polluting cars and invest in cleaner transport that will make a real difference in the quality of air we breathe and our environment.”

The new scheme has received the backing of local stakeholders and partners within the Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood including the business improvement districts (BIDs).

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Penny Alexander, chief executive of the Baker Street Quarter Partnership BID, said “Improving air quality is a priority for us and needs to be a unified effort.

“Businesses in our area recognise that air quality is a significant issue and are working with us to address it. We are really pleased to see Westminster City Council taking forward this initiative to encourage people not to drive diesel vehicles into the area.”

Stephen Quinn, a father-of-three who works and lives in Marylebone, added: ‘The poor air quality in our neighbourhood is palpable.

“We have lived in this area for 20 years, and it is definitely much worse these days.

“We are extremely concerned about the long-term effect that this pollution is having on us, and, more importantly, our children.

“The whole of London needs to do all it can to make the city a good place to live and work for all, so one of the many things we need to do is to see a huge reduction in the amount of traffic on our streets.

“We desperately hope that this pilot will go towards making people realise that things must change. Much bigger efforts are needed urgently, but this is at least a start.’”

Westminster Council plan to introduce more green initiatives to help improve air quality throughout the year including more charge points for electric cars.

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