New car parking fees based on vehicle emissions will see those with the most polluting petrol and diesel cars forced to pay out more.
Bath and Somerset Council will introduce the new fees from Friday, September 8 after a consultation found hundreds of locals were concerned about air pollution.
Paul Barker, Managing Director of carwow stressed this was not the first city to introduce a similar scheme.
He highlighted that Lambeth Council launched emissions-based parking last year but admitted a tourist hotspot could catch people unawares.
He explained: “Increased parking charges for more polluting vehicles is the next stage in councils cleaning up British roads by making it less appealing to drive older and more polluting vehicles.”
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He added: “It may be an unwelcome development in a more touristic hotspot such as Bath, which entertains a lot of visitors who won’t be aware of the massive ramp-up in cost to park when they arrive in the area.
“Based on the proposals, for the most polluting vehicles, drivers face a 38 percent increase in parking costs compared to the least polluting cars over a two-hour period.
“This shows the direction of travel; and that the cost of having and running diesel cars that don’t meet the latest emissions legislation, or older petrol cars, continues to rise.”
The council admits that the new scheme is set to hit 66 percent of car park customers in the city with drivers paying an average of 11p more.
However, those with the most toxic cars producing over 255 g/km will be slapped with hefty rises.
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Formerly, one-hour parking fees stood at £1.50 but this will rise to £2.50 for diesel cars over the maximum emissions rating.
A 24-hour pass will increase by almost £4 for polluting diesel models while petrol drives could pay up to £3 more.
Bath and North East Somerset Council has claimed the average price per hour will remain the same for a staggering 34 percent of customers.
Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport, revealed the focus was on improving air quality in the region.
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She explained: “Prices won’t change for a lot of drivers, these new charges will only affect people bringing more polluting vehicles into our city.
“This approach is being adopted across the country but we’re the only council remaining committed to offering cash payments for customers. We see it as really important to protect this.
“Our overall aim is to improve public safety by improving air quality and reducing congestion and I’d like to thank all that took part in the consultation and shared their views with us.”
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