Parking Charges Based on CO2

AA warns councils not to use 'green smokescreens' to hit the motorist

16 July 2010

Councils should not use 'environmental policies' to try to make more money out of motorists, the AA president warned at a conference of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership at Twickenham Stadium this week. The warning comes as Richmond Council in London has done a u-turn to scrap their parking scheme which forced owners of larger family cars to pay up to four times more than other motorists.

The AA opposed the policy from the outset to raise the cost of parking permits for vehicles producing higher CO2 emissions as it claimed it would hit families with MPVs and poorer families in terraced houses without driveways. Eight other councils are considering introducing similar schemes. The AA also pointed out that it was absurd to tax a vehicle more when it was stationery with its engine switched off.

The policy was introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Richmond who lost control of the Council to the Conservatives in May. The new administration is now getting rid of its 'unpopular, unfair and ineffective' scheme even though it might cost £240,000 a year in lost fees.

Edmund King, AA president, speaking at the LowCVP conference 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.

"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.

"Drivers do care about the environment which is reflected in the purchase of more fuel efficient cars and a growing uptake of eco-driving."

Survey results

More than ninety per cent of AA members would consider taking measures to reduce the overall environmental impact of their cars, according to an AA/Populus poll of 17,481 AA members.

These results and details of what is most important to car buyers when purchasing a car were presented to the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership by the AA president.

The most popular actions drivers would consider taking personally to reduce the overall environmental impact of cars were:

  • Buying a more fuel efficient car (62%)
  • Eco-driving i.e. sticking to speed limits (60%)
  • Taking advantage of discounts to buy smaller/greener cars (51%)
  • Cutting out short journeys by car (48%)
  • Buying a hybrid/electric or alternative fuel car (32%)
  • Taking up a Govt incentive scheme to scrap older cars if available (28%)
  • Giving up car all together (3%)
  • None of these (7%)

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4 August 2010