Diesel car drivers are to be charged an extra £2.45 an hour from today to park in parts of central London.
In an attempt to combat toxic air, Westminster council is launching a trial of the “D-charge” on pay-to-park bays in Marylebone, and parts of Fitzrovia and the Hyde Park area.
It is the first UK town hall in Britain to impose an extra charge on parking bays.
The normal hourly parking charges in Westminster is £4.90 an hour, but pre-2015 diesel cars will now be charged £7.35 per hour to park. The City of Westminster hopes the surcharge will dissuade motorists from using polluting diesel vehicles in the capital.
It added that the money raised by the surcharge will be spent on initiatives to promote “sustainable transport”.
Announcing the charge in January, councillor David Harvey, Westminster’s cabinet member for environment, sports and community, said: “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.”
The D-charge will work alongside the existing Congestion Charge, as well as the forthcoming T-charge later this October, where the most polluting cars will have to pay an extra £10 to drive in central London.