New parking charges are set to be introduced to Kingston in a bid to tackle pollution.

Following a meeting of the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee held on Tuesday night (February 12), a spokesperson said that it would submit plans to full council on February 26 to increase resident parking permits for standard petrol vehicles while offering free parking for hybrid and electric car owners.

Councillor Hilary Gander, portfolio holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport said: “Polluted air leads to increased illness and risk of early death.

"These changes are part of our efforts to protect the health of residents by encouraging people to think carefully about their choice of vehicle when the time comes to change it.

“If we move to more environmentally friendly vehicles, walking, cycling and public transport, it will help to make Kingston a better place to live in, work in and visit.”

In a press release published today (February 13) the council said the proposals would be based on vehicle emission levels in an attempt to tackle pollution.

According to Kingston Council, road transport in the borough is responsible for 72.5 per cent of gases from burnt fuel (Nitrogen Oxide or NOx), and 58 per cent from other harmful chemicals like PM2.5 (combustion particles released into the air when fossil fuels are burned).

In total, emissions and air pollution are estimated to contribute to around one in every twenty deaths in Kingston, the council said.

To mitigate some of the financial effects of a rise in parking fees on residents, the committee’s plan recommended offering 30 minutes’ free parking on a number of roads in the borough, including high streets.

The final decision on parking charges will be made at the meeting of Kingston’s Full Council on 26 February 2019 as part of the approval of the council’s overall budget for 2019/20.

If passed, the plans will see Kingston Borough Council further improve on its environmental credentials and bid to lower climate-damaging carbon emissions.

In 2014, Kingston received funding from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for its “Go” scheme to encourage cycling in the area.

The plans for new charges on street parking and car parks will start from 1 June 2019. Any changes in prices will be available on the council’s website by the end of February 2019.