UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour has called on the Government to prevent councils from ‘demonising’ drivers of diesel vehicles with massive rises in parking charges.
Her comments follow the launch of a pilot scheme in central London which will see Westminster City Council charging an extra 50 per cent on the normal hourly parking charge - just for diesel vehicles – starting in April.
Mrs Seymour said: “The Government needs to step in and nip this money-grabbing scheme in the bud, before it spreads like wild-fire across other parts of the country.
“It is totally wrong for the authorities to be demonising drivers of diesel cars, just a few years after they were actively encouraging the very same people to buy them.
“These drivers bought diesel cars in good faith, on the back of incentives which were promoted by the Government.
She added: “Politicians who seem to sway with the wind want to damage the family finances of people who purchased diesel cars on the strength of Government advice. This is a case of disgraceful double-standards, and is simply not fair.
“Instead of trying to penalise them, they should be focusing their attention on removing the diesel trucks, buses and taxis, which create far more pollution in our towns and cities.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, along with BMW, Ford, and Jaguar Land Rover, have echoed Mrs Seymour’s beliefs that fears over diesel are misplaced.
"Today's diesel engines are the cleanest ever, and manufacturers have spent billions of pounds reducing their emissions," she said.
“It is not the modern car which is causing poor air pollution in our cities. It is large diesel engine vehicles such as buses, trains and trucks, which are typically much older.
“When drivers of diesel cars are driven out of our towns and cities, is anyone pausing to think of the damage this could be doing to retailers who rely on them for their business?”