Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Breathe easy in Kensington and Chelsea?

Kensington and Chelsea are considering raising the parking permit surcharge on diesel cars according to the London Evening Standard.
Diesels generally emit higher amounts of particulates and nitrogen oxides, which are the main cause of London's appalling air quality.
However, diesels also emit 20%-30% less CO2, so any displacement of diesel with petrol vehicles is bleak news for the planet as a whole.

What difference is charging Kensington and Chelsea residents a few quid more to park their cars going to make? Absolutely none, I predict, unless the charge is punitive, which it won't be.

Boris Johnson's decision to postpone the next phase of the Low Emission Zone is part of the problem, as is his decision to scrap six-monthly emissions checks for the huge fleet of black cabs.

The Mayor's draft Air Quality Strategy says "The majority of PM10 emissions from within London come from road transport. A surprisingly high proportion comes from tyre and brake wear, which is difficult to tackle. In central London where the hotspots are, taxis are a particular problem, accounting for 35 per cent of emissions from exhausts". So there's your problem right there then - that'll be the same taxis that are now not facing six-monthly emissions checks.

I'll be taking a closer look at Boris's solution - the Air Quality Strategy - later...

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