Parties unite to block green initiative on CO2 parking charges

Edinburgh may not now adopt a scheme to link charges for resident parking permits to climate-changing pollution produced by vehicles after a Green Party proposal to introduce the scheme was voted down at a meeting of Edinburgh Council’s Transport-Environment committee this morning (Tuesday 29 th July 2008) [1,2].

Although the City’s transport officials had backed the scheme, the other political parties united to block the Green proposal, instead calling for further investigation and consultation.

The proposed scheme would have seen 80% of residents with vehicles see a reduction or no change in their parking permit charges. Only 20% of those who own the vehicles in the most polluting, band G, category would have seen an increase in charges.

Greens’ Environment spokesperson, Councillor Steve Burgess, who proposed the original motion in November last year said;

“I’m dismayed that this scheme worked out by the Council’s transport officials following the Greens’ proposal last year has been blocked by the other parties.

“We’re trouble when the Council’s non-Green parties couldn’t even agree to a relatively conservative scheme, that would have benefited 80% of vehicle owners.

“The SNP have succeeded in rolling the LibDems over on this. At the beginning of the week the Council leader Jenny Dawe was arguing in favour of the scheme but now her group have accepted an SNP tactic that kicks the scheme into the long grass. Sadly, it now remains to be seen whether the SNP will succeed, with Tory support, in totally scuppering the scheme.

“The time for dilly-dallying over action to reduce climate pollution should be over. The Council could have shown leadership today. Sadly it has missed an opportunity.”