The London Borough of Lambeth are proposing to implement additional permit parking changes for diesel cars that do not meet the Euro 6 standard – that means all of them that are more than a few years old. The additional charge will be £40 per year.
The ABD has sent in objections simply on the grounds that this is a political gesture that will have minimal impact on air pollution in the borough, or is motivated by a desire to raise revenue for the Council. A similar calculation recently for Merton showed that the impact might be a reduction of 0.4% in overall NOX emissions which is too small to be measurable in practice. In addition, as clearly there will be additional revenue raised for council budgets, without any offsetting reduction in charges for other vehicles, this change is effectively a revenue raising measure and hence illegal. It has been established by more than one legal precedent that permit parking charges cannot be used to raise revenue but can only cover administration and enforcement costs.
Not only will diesel car drivers be targeted by the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London, they will also find they are paying more to park on their local streets. The boroughs of Islington and Hackney are proposing higher permit parking charges for diesel vehicles – an extra £50 in Hackney and an extra £96 in Islington where they already have an emission based scale of charges. Islington is of course notoriously anti-car in all of its policies and this will impact 9,000 users of diesel vehicles in the borough.
Those who are unhappy should perhaps bear in mind that the Labour Party is currently in control of the Council but that has not always been so, with a long period of no overall control or other parties being dominant. Indeed Islington Council have a very useful web page that tells you how you can stand for election which is usually a good way to get the attention of existing councillors – it is here: http://www.islington.gov.uk/involved/involvedvoting/electionhow/Pages/default.aspx
Those who live in other boroughs should perhaps start to examine the stance of their local councillors on such matters so you know how to vote at election time. Democracy does have an impact if you take the time to use it.
Barnet Council have finally agreed to pay the £155,000 costs of the legal action brought by David Attfield and his supporters against proposed new parking charges. The council lost the Judicial Review action in the High Court after it was ruled that increases to charges across controlled parking zones (CPZs) in Barnet in order to pay for other transport projects were unlawful. Let us hope other London councils take note of this case. It reinforces the previous legal precedent that all councillors should be aware of – namely that you cannot use on-street parking schemes to generate revenue, i.e. there should not be an intended surplus.
But Barnet has not given up on increasing charges. They are bringing in one of those hated “emissions based permit parking schemes”, i.e. the more emissions your car makes the higher the charge even though no cars emit emissions when they are parked, and the probability of such a charge having any impact on emissions in the borough is very low because it only affects cars parked in CPZs and not those parked off road or elsewhere. This was clearly demonstrated in the London Borough of Richmond but councillors pushed ahead regardless. The ruling LibDem council and its leader were subsequently ejected by the electorate as the measure proved very unpopular (see http://www.freedomfordrivers.org/Richmond.htm for the ABD’s past campaign in that borough).