CO2-based parking charges a mockery

29 January 2007

  • AA says motorists in London unfairly targeted
  • Small cars in rural towns emit as much CO2
  • Richmond council to vote charge in tonight

Parking fees based on carbon dioxide emissions are to be approved by Richmond council

Motorists in London are being unfairly targeted with carbon dioxide-based parking charges, says the AA.

Larger vehicles in London are being targeted with increased residents parking permits - but they may emit no more carbon dioxide overall than a small car run from a town outside of the M25, the motoring organisation says.

Using Department for Transport statistics on typical annual mileage, the AA says the fewer miles travelled by London residents mean they can emit the same amount of carbon dioxide over the year.

A car emitting 225g/km of carbon dioxide and travelling the DfT London average of 3800 miles a year produces 1.38 tonnes of the gas a year, exactly the same as a car emitting 145g/km but travelling the urban town average of 5900 miles.

Angry reaction
Head of roads and transport policy at the AA, Paul Watters, said: 'Hitting a car owner with a punitive charge is just one of the unfair anomalies of the Richmond proposal. Having a neighbour who can completely avoid this tax is another.

'Leaving residents with virtually no time to buy a lower emission vehicle exposes these charges for what they really are - a money-making tax.'

The London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames is expected to give a final vote of approval for the carbon dioxide-based parking charges tonight, and introduce them within three months.

Leader of Richmond Council, councillor Serge Lourie, said the move had broad support from residents: 'Sixty-four per cent have indicated that they would be prepared to take practical action and switch to a less polluting vehicle - this is hugely significant.

Richmond was the first council to propose carbon dioxide-based parking charges last year, but Camden and Haringey were the first London authorities to introduce such schemes last week, albeit with far lower charges.

Several other London boroughs, and other local authorities including Brighton, are considering the move. Lambeth is likely to be the next to introduce the scheme this summer.

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