The London borough of Richmond could become the first local authority in the UK to penalise drivers of fuel-hungry cars with higher fees for parking permits.

The council’s cabinet is due to vote on the proposal in early November but, should it go through, the motion would see a price hike for those driving cars with larger engines as well as for families with more than one car.

A banded system would see drivers of electric cars exempt from parking charges, those who owned hybrids would pay half the current rate and those with engines smaller than 1.4L would also receive concessions.

Those with bigger engines would see the price of a permit rise in stages to up to three times the standard rate for those of 2.2L or above while households with more than one vehicle will pay and extra 50% for any permits beyond their first.

The Lib Dem-lead council of the wealthy borough has promoted the proposals as an incentive to encourage cleaner, greener vehicles but those opposed to the plans have criticised the banding, pointing out that even those who drive relatively small-engined vehicles will be clobbered with an extra charge.

Sam Bond

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