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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 08:32 GMT 09:32 UK
Parking plan for 'gas guzzlers'
Car exhaust
The council wants to persuade people to buy less polluting cars
Owners of "gas guzzling" vehicles in north London will pay twice as much to park if residents back a council plan to tackle climate change.

Islington Council is holding a referendum on a bid to vary residential parking charges according to how much CO2 pollution each vehicle produces.

Council leader James Kempton said: "Two thirds of people in Islington will pay less if they vote 'yes'."

Residents have until 25 June to return their ballot papers.

The council currently charges residents 95 for an annual parking permit, with a 20 discount for vehicles with engine capacities less than 1400cc or those powered by a greener fuel source.

'No income increase'

"The most 'gas guzzling' cars will be paying double under this plan, and that's what I think is right," said Mr Kempton.

"The reality is whatever car you drive is polluting the environment and we want to encourage people to choose less polluting cars."

Mr Kempton said that, by rewarding owners of vehicles which pollute less while penalising owners of vehicles which pollute more, the plan would not increase the council's income from parking permit charges.

"This particular green policy would impact on a lot of people," he added.

"We know there will be both supporters and opponents and we look forward to engaging them in the debate."

The referendum follows similar proposals announced by Richmond Council last October.

It plans to charge owners of high-emission cars 750 a year for a parking permit, compared with 200 now, while making the greenest cars exempt.


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