Today (FRIDAY FEB 3) is your last chance to let Merton Council know your views on its proposed diesel levy, which will affect all residents who own a diesel vehicle and have an annual parking permit.

We have been sent a copy of these views on the diesel levy by a resident of Cromwell Road, which we thought other Haydons Road North dwellers might like to see. Let us know what you think: we revel in sharing opinions rather than dictating them, so are happy to publish all (non-offensive, not that we’d expect any along those lines!) contributions.

Cromwell Road resident writes: “I believe strongly that air quality is a major issue for London and that effective measures to improve it should be taken capital-wide. However, I do not believe that Merton’s plans to introduce a diesel levy are the answer, for the following reasons:

1. Surcharging residents who already have a parking permit will not in itself help improve air quality. My car is used maybe twice a week; the rest of the time I and my family travel throughout the borough and beyond by bicycle. My static (modern diesel) vehicle causes less pollution than the many vehicles that pass down Haydons Road every day yet they won’t pay and I will. This makes the proposed levy both unfair and ineffective.

2. The charge levels are significantly higher than other boroughs and thus unfair. Council officers when questioned seem unsure how effective this new measure will be. Introducing a random levy without any clear idea of what ‘success’ will look like is unscientific and ineffective.

3. Air quality monitoring in this borough appears sporadic and random. If Merton Council is serious about reducing pollution in the borough it should have a more radical approach to encouraging motorists to drive less. This could include improved cycle lane provision and publicity, and an end to the offer of free parking to lure drivers into centres including Raynes Park and Wimbledon.

In summary, I believe that the proposed diesel levy is an ineffective, ill-thought out measure that will have a minimal effect on air quality in the borough and should therefore be shelved pending a more thorough investigation into how better to reduce pollution and support more sustainable transport solutions across Merton.”

Have your say, but be quick! Consultation closes today Friday Feb 3, 2017. Full information here:

Local councillors and MP Stephen Hammond will also be interested to receive a copy of your submission.