A consultation on potential new green parking charges in Croydon which could see all but electric and low-emission cars paying more has launched.

The scheme would see different parking charges for vehicles depending on how much CO2 they produce per kilometre, with some drivers only paying £6.50 for an annual resident's parking permit.

But critics say the plans will unfairly penalise the majority people, particularly owners of diesel vehicles built before 2001, who would see the cost of their yearly permit rise from £80 to £300.

Councillor Stuart King, cabinet lead for environment and transport, said: “We are committed to reducing air pollution and want Croydon to become London’s greenest borough.

“Applying a Polluter Pays model is one of a number of ways we are trying to encourage people to make more environmentally friendly journey choices.

"In this case, we are offering up to a 90% discount for parking permits for the lowest emission vehicles.

“We are working hard to make Croydon London’s greenest borough, and reducing air pollution is at the heart of that challenge.”

A survey for the Local Implementation Plan in September 2018 found nearly three quarters of respondents were concerned about air quality in the borough.

Only electric and the lowest-emitting cars would be exempt from rising costs, meaning the majority of drivers would have to pay more.

Mario Creatura, Conservative councillor and critic of the proposals, said: "This policy will be a tax that penalises the elderly and low income residents who can't afford to buy a new vehicle and is a tax on small businesses that rely on their vehicles to trade."

If introduced the new model would be introduced in three stages. The first round would see the model introduced for residents’ parking permits later this year.

Business and all other permits would be introduced in 2020 and on and off street parking restrictions could be introduced the following year.

A formal public consultation on the changes to residents’ parking permits and business permits is currently live and runs until Thursday June 20.

A separate consultation around on and off street changes would take place at a later date.