AA blasts CO2-based parking plans

  • Eight councils consider CO2 emissions-based schemes
  • AA says so-called 'green' schemes are gimmicky
  • Richmond council scraps unpopular parking scheme

Local authorities are being urged not to introduce CO2 emissions-based parking schemes following Richmond council's decision to scrap its scheme.

Richmond council pioneered the idea, but decided to scrap what was regarded as an unpopular, gimmicky tax where drivers would get a fixed penalty notice without the correct permit. During the public consultaton for the scheme only 23% of respondents supported the idea. Now the authority is introducing a scheme that includes a flat fee and 30 minutes' free parking for its own residents.

However, eight London boroughs are reported to be considering introducing a scheme where motorists will be charged on the basis of their cars' carbon dioxide emissions.

AA president, Edmund King said: 'We need low-cost, lower carbon transport solutions in an age of austerity but we don't need expensive 'green smokescreen' gimmicks such as parking charges based on CO2'.

The Richmond scheme resulted in owners of larger family cars having to pay up to four times more than those who own smaller, low emissions vehicles.

It proved unpopular particularly with those living in terraced houses without a driveway. The AA said it was 'absurd' to charge a higher price on certain vehicles when they are stationary with the engine switched off.

Hearing that eight other councils were also considering introducing this scheme, KIng added: 'Other authorities thinking of jumping on this 'green' bandwagon should think again. This was never a green tax but it was a mean tax. Ownership of a larger family car which may do very low mileage should not be prohibited by bureaucrats out to make a quick buck.'