Got a resident or business parking permit? Most of us in the North Haydons Road area do, as off-street parking is a rarity here . Have you also got a car that runs on diesel?

Residents and businesses in Merton who qualify on both counts will be asked to pay an extra £90 from April, rising to £115 in April 2018 and topping out at £150 from April 2019 onwards. That’s on top of the existing £65 annual fee for a resident parking permit.

The scheme was agreed at a Merton Council meeting back in November, with a pledge that funds raised through the scheme will “go towards tackling air pollution, local sustainable transport initiatives and necessary infrastructure such as cycle lanes”.

There is a statutory obligation for the local authority to consult with CPZ (controlled parking zones) residents and businesses, so comments are being sought on the diesel levy plans. The consultation closes on February 3, 2017.

Similar diesel levies are charged by other London councils, but at lower rates. For example, Camden charges £10, Kensington and Chelsea charge £19, Islington charges £96.

Merton Conservatives argue that our council’s diesel levy is unfair because it is being introduced too quickly, is too high, could encourage people to concrete over their front gardens to create off-road parking and thus avoid the new levy but lead to increased water run-off problems, unfairly targets vehicle owners in CPZs, and provides no guarantee that revenues will be used to tackle pollution.

In a letter to a resident of Cromwell Road (helpfully forwarded to us for information: thank you!), our MP Stephen Hammond states: “It has an unfair impact on people in the Borough who already pay for a parking permit and have no driveway and, as you say, have diesel cars dating back to when we were encouraged to buy them.”

He suggests anyone with concerns about the diesel levy proposal should respond to the consultation and get in touch directly too with the Merton Council Leader Stephen Alambritis ( Our local councillors may also be interested in hearing residents’ views.