UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour has launched a petition calling on the Government to prevent councils from discriminating against drivers of diesel cars.
She said: “There is a growing move to charge drivers of diesel cars extra for parking and travelling in city centres - even though the Government encouraged people to buy them by highlighting their efficiency and low CO2 emissions.
“That’s why this complete policy U-turn is unfair. People with diesel cars should not now be suddenly discriminated against, charged more for parking or forced to pay additional costs to use their vehicles.
“My petition is calling upon Prime Minister Theresa May to protect people who purchased diesel cars, which remain amongst the most efficient vehicles available.
“It also asks the Government to stop any current or proposed charges which discriminate against diesel engine cars from being levied by councils and local authorities.”
The Government is reported to be considering a scrappage scheme for diesel cars, offering incentives for replacing them with lower-emission vehicles.
And transport secretary Chris Grayling has publicly urged people to think long and hard before buying a diesel car.
Mrs Seymour said: “Before the Government allows councils to penalise diesel car owners, it needs to be offering them significant incentives to change their vehicles.
“It is totally wrong for the authorities to be demonising drivers of diesel cars, just a few years after the very same people were actively encouraging them to buy.
“These drivers bought diesel cars in good faith, and many simply cannot afford to buy a different car overnight.
She added: “Instead of trying to penalise diesel car drivers, the Government should be focusing their attention on diesel trucks, buses and taxis which create far more pollution in our towns and cities.
“It is not the modern car which is causing poor air pollution in our cities. It is large diesel engine vehicles which are typically much older.”
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 cars are misplaced.