London's financial district to introduce green car-parking tariff

  • The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile, London's financial and historic center.
  • The aim is to incentivize drivers to make "more environmentally-friendly choices and improve air quality."
The City or 'Square Mile' business district in central London.
Vladimir Zakharov | Moment | Getty Images
The City or 'Square Mile' business district in central London.

On-street parking charges that target high-polluting vehicles are to be implemented in London's financial district next week.

The initiative will make use of RingGo's Emissions Based Parking product, the City of London Corporation said in a statement Tuesday.

The RingGo app can automatically determine the kind of vehicle being parked and, in turn, charge tariffs based on the level of pollution that vehicle emits.

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile, London's financial and historic center. Around 8,000 people live in the area, while 400,000 work there.

The Corporation said the aim was to incentivize drivers to make "more environmentally-friendly choices and improve air quality across the Square Mile by reducing nitrogen oxides and harmful particulates."

Under the tariff bands, a low-emission vehicle — an electric or hybrid, for example — will be charged £4 ($5.09) per hour to park on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. By contrast, a diesel vehicle registered from 2015 onwards will face a £5.20 charge.

RingGo's app is cashless. Drivers who choose to use cash at machines rather than RingGo will have to pay the highest rate.

"We have seen other areas of London penalize worst offenders such as diesel cars," Chris Hayward, the City of London Corporation's Planning and Transportation Committee chairman, said.

"We are taking this one step further by not only applying punitive measures for these worst offenders, but by supporting and encouraging motorists to consider other modes of transport and switch to cleaner vehicles in the future."

Air pollution is a big problem in London. In January 2017, the city's mayor, Sadiq Khan, issued a "very high" air pollution alert as residents suffered from high particulate matter pollution levels.

"This is the highest level of alert and everyone — from the most vulnerable to the physically fit — may need to take precautions to protect themselves from the filthy air," Khan said at the time.