London ULEZ fees could be ditched in exchange for new parking charges

Sadiq Khan addresses 'conspiracy theories' linked to ULEZ

London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) expansion should be ditched in favour of new parking charges, according to an expert.

Peter O’Driscoll, managing director of RingGo has suggested ULEZ “isn’t the only option” facing Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Instead, he has suggested new parking fees which targeted highly polluting vehicles could be the answer.

A similar scheme is already in place across London with extra fees issued for road users driving older petrol and diesel cars.

The system is still an extra charge for drivers but the extra costs would be nowhere near the fees currently expected to hit drivers under ULEZ.

READ MORE The town where locals are so angry about ULEZ they ‘want to punch Sadiq Khan’

He said: “ULEZ has become an increasingly divisive policy, with those on both sides having some valid points. There are, however, certain things on which we can all agree.

“Firstly, the UK must improve air quality targets and reduce carbon emissions to deliver cleaner, healthier and more liveable cities for residents.

“And secondly, ULEZ isn’t the only option and in fact, may not be the best one available. One alternative option is Emissions Based Parking (EBP).”

In Newham, residents’ permit charges vary based on vehicle emissions with clean vehicles paying £33 per year compared to £220 per annum for polluting models.

Croydon council offers a 90 percent discount at parking metres for electric vehicles and a 25 percent reduction for vehicles providing less than 185g/km of CO2.

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Lambeth council introduced EBP charges earlier this year with the most polluting models paying £380 per year more than electric cars. However, this is still miniscule compared to the true cost of Khan’s new 12.50 per day fee set to launch on August 29.

The new expansion means motorists living as far as Harrow and Bromley could pay an extra £375 per month if they use their cars every day.

O’Driscoll added: “This targets higher-polluting vehicles when they park, instead of charging a one-off toll when they pass a certain point. It’s simple and cheap to enforce and encourages, rather than forces, electric vehicle adoption.

“EBP led to a 16 percent reduction in polluting vehicles when introduced by Westminster City Council in 2017.

“The scheme has now been adopted by almost half of London boroughs, with Hackney Council launching its EBP system in April 2023. It also enables councils to adapt the scheme to local needs.

“Different areas within a council can be charged at different rates, meaning the needs of residents can be considered.

“We cannot afford to be tunnel-visioned when it comes to our cities. We must explore and combine every avenue to make our cities cleaner, healthier and more liveable.”

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