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Islington LBC plans a pioneering referendum on whether parking charges should double for cars with the worst pollut...
Islington LBC plans a pioneering referendum on whether parking charges should double for cars with the worst pollution records.

Charges for the least-polluting vehicles would be halved as an incentive to motorists to reduce exhaust emissions, council leader James Kempton (Lib Dem) said.

The ballot is expected next month. Mr Kempton admitted it could be difficult to persuade people who do not own cars to vote.

'It will be a challenge to secure a high turnout,' he said.

Cars built before 2001 would be rated into categories of pollution by engine. More modern ones carry pollution designations.

A council spokeswoman said it was believed to be the first referendum on tackling climate change in the UK.

Mr Kempton said:

'Everyone agrees we have to make changes to help tackle climate change, but not everyone agrees on which changes we should make.

Executive member for environment, Lucy Watt, said: 'All cars are polluting, but we understand that some people are reliant on them in their everyday lives. This new permit system would give people an incentive to switch from a 'gas guzzler' to a less polluting car.'

The changes to the permit system would link residents parking permit charges to CO2 emission rates and vehicle engine size. They are designed to be 'revenue neutral' - so they would not increase Islington LBC's income from parking permit charges.

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