Groundbreaking Green Parking Charges

Final Approval for ‘Groundbreaking’ Green Parking Charges

A proposal by Green Councillors in Edinburgh to link parking charges with car pollution has today been given final approval by Councillors and will be introduced in November this year.

The Greens say the scheme, the first of its kind in Scotland, will create a sliding scale of charges for residents’ permits according to vehicle CO2 emissions, encourage residents to switch to less polluting vehicles and reduce climate-changing pollution. It will see parking permit charges slashed to as little as £25 a year (from £80) for the least polluting vehicles and doubled to £320 for the most polluting.

This morning’s meeting of the Council’s Transport Infrastructure and Environment Committee finally approved the new charges following a 3-year process including a 3-month public consultation last year when three-quarters of residents backed the scheme.

The only opposition this morning came from Conservative Councillors who tried to block the scheme and voted against it, claiming it was ‘iniquitous’. This despite 50% of residents seeing a fall in charges and 25% no change.

Councillor Steve Burgess, Greens’ Environment spokesperson, the original proposer of the scheme said;

“It cannot be right, knowing the misery climate change can cause on a global level, such as the flooding in Pakistan, to continue treating the atmosphere we all share as a free dumping ground for pollution. We all need to change our behaviour to minimise that impact and being more fuel efficient is one way we can change.

“The global climatic disasters around in the world this year, such as the flooding in Pakistan and forest-fires in Russia, are the sorts of major, weather-related disasters that have been predicted as the global climate changes. So we urgently need to find ways of cutting down on pollution and this scheme is a contribution towards that.

“This scheme, the first of its kind in Scotland, is groundbreaking because it creates a sliding scale of charges between about £25 and £320 for a parking permit, depending on the amount of climate-changing carbon dioxide your vehicle emits – the less pollution your vehicle emits, the less you pay for a parking permit.

“The idea is to give

an incentive for those buying a car to choose a more fuel efficient model and ultimately reduce climate changing pollution. There are estimates that this scheme could reduce climate-changing pollution from vehicles by 15%.

“What’s also important is that it sends out a clear message to residents that the Council regards addressing climate change as important and that’s why I’m pleased that Councillors from other parties, apart from the Conservatives, supported the scheme. I hope that other Councils in Scotland will follow Edinburgh’s example.”


  1. Green motion 10.18 by Councillor Burgess – Parking Charges Based on Vehicle Emissions, agreed on by City of Edinburgh Council, Thursday, 22 November 2007
  2. The scheme would actually benefit (or not affect) the majority of residents as the only car owners that will see a rise in permit costs are those driving cars in Band F or above. All vehicles registered after 2001 have a carbon dioxide rating – cars in CO2 band A to C will see a reduction in their charges, bands D and E will see no change and band F or above will see an increase. For cars registered before 2001 those of above a 2.5 litre engine capacity will see a 25% increase and those above 3 litres would see permit costs doubled.
  3. ‘Special Parking Area – Operational Changes to the Controlled Parking Scheme and Modernisation of Traffic Orders’ – Report to Transport Infrastructure & Environment Committee, City of Edinburgh Council, Tuesday 21 September 2010.