‘Radical’ parking charge review given green light by Newham Council
PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:20 24 February 2020
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The council is to review parking charges as part of its bid to improve the borough’s toxic air.
The town hall approved what it described as "radical" proposals - which would see drivers of the most polluting vehicles charged more - at a meeting on Monday, February 17.
Cllr James Asser, cabinet member for the environment and transport said: "We are determined to pursue policies which will improve the health and ultimately save the lives of residents."
He admitted the council's previous parking policies have done nothing for air quality or public health and a sweeping review was overdue.
The local authority wants to encourage a switch to greener vehicles by introducing residential and business parking permit charges based on how polluting a vehicle is.
Newham plans to cut car ownership by increasing parking permit charges for people who have more than one motor registered at a single address.
Five emissions based vehicle charging bands for residential permits would be introduced based on the DVLA groupings used by HMRC for vehicle tax.
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The first permit would be free for electric and most plug-in hybrid vehicles. Business permit charges would also become emission-based, with zero and hybrid vehicles getting free permits. New charges would also be introduced for three further emission levels.
On and off street parking charges will increase by 15 per cent across the board.
The town hall estimates almost 23,000 vehicles registered in Newham will be liable for a "modest" residential permit charge of £60 a year while 60pc of business permits will be the same price or free.
Alongside the changes, the review proposes moving to a cashless system with the removal of pay and display parking machines and the introduction of a paperless pay-by-phone app.
A new online system will replace the current paper resident and visitor permits.
Cllr James Asser, said: "These proposed changes aim to redress the balance of fairness so that those who create the most pollution, pay towards the remedial measures we have to introduce to tackle poor air quality."
Currently, the first resident parking permit in a household is free. Extra permits cost £100 each. A year-long business parking permit costs £600.
Newham declared a climate emergency in April. Public Health England 2018 data has shown the borough has the worst death rate attributable to poor air quality in the capital.