‘Stand firm against motor industry’ Islington Greens urge town hall

Cllr Russell; 'Stand firm against motor industry'

Cllr Russell; 'Stand firm against motor industry' - Credit: Archant

Town hall’s sole opposition councillor backs new diesel surcharge

The town hall must stand firm against motor industry lobbying for them to backtrack on the new diesel surcharge, the Green Party has urged.

Last week, Islington Council announced a new £96 annual charge for diesel car owners who want to park outside their homes in a bid to tackle the deadly pollution in the borough, which claims hundreds of lives a year.

Motoring groups, like the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), were quick to attack the council for tarring all diesel vehicles with the same brush.

But Cllr Caroline Russell, Islington Council’s opposition Green Party member, said: “I appreciate that it is hard for owners of diesel vehicles, but the manufacturers and vehicle retailers have been slow to pick up on the increasing body of evidence showing that even the latest diesel vehicles are very polluting when driven in congested city conditions.

“I am not surprised to hear the council is now being lobbied by the motor industry to backtrack, but they should stand firm and resist the corporate interests who are more concerned with their bottom line than the health of Islington residents.”

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She added; “We have been calling and campaigning for action on health-damaging air pollution from diesel vehicles for years.

“Diesel pollutants cause cancer as well as asthma and other severe health problems.

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“We are in full support of the new diesel parking charge and welcome the initiative.”

“The charge is aimed at discouraging the purchase of diesel vehicles and gives a clear signal to residents that driving diesel in a city contributes to health damaging air pollution should be avoided. We now want the council to go further and do all it can to reduce all vehicle trips and make public transport and active travel options both safe and convenient.

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