Richmond council have unveiled a new means of extracting money from London's motorists - Oyster-style pay-as-you-go for emissions. And that's on top of normal parking charges.
The scheme, due to be launched on 1 October, has been unsurprisingly lauded by the council as 'welcomed by most people' but condemned by motoring organisations as 'money-grabbing' and 'unreasonable' though it does at least provide an opportunity for trotting out the ever-irritating and misleading 'gas-guzzling' phrase.
Richmond council claim they're not out to make money, but the £800,000 estimated additional income from the scheme will presumably not be donated to charity. And it's not just the Chelsea tractors which will be affected - some family cars will fall foul of Richmond's emissions banding.
London boroughs are quick to hit motorists with extra costs under the guise of being green, with the Low Emission Zone being the daddy of them all - although Boris Johnson postponed the third phase of the LEZ earlier this year in the name of the credit crunch and finding more inclusive ways to cut emissions instead of the time-honoured method of extractions via the motorist's wallet to demonstrate a tick in the environmental checkbox.
It's a shame that more London boroughs don't take the mayor's lead and implement schemes which treat roads as spaces shared by public transport, cars, pedestrians and cyclists instead of consistently trying to improve the lot of one at the expense of the others. Image by Siobhán.W in the Londonist Flickr pool.