PUBLIC BACKS GREEN PARKING CHARGES IN EDINBURGH

A proposal by Green Councillors in Edinburgh to link parking charges with car pollution [1] has won overwhelming public support in a Council consultation published today [2].

The scheme, which sets residential vehicle permit fees according to the amount of carbon dioxide produced, was the subject of public consultation late in 2008.

The general public and residents responded by more than three to one in favour of the initiative designed to encourage the use of more climate friendly vehicles and discourage gas guzzlers.  Under the scheme permit costs for the largest vehicles will double to £320. Costs for the most efficient cars will drop to as little as £15.

When Green councillor Steve Burgess proposed the scheme last July it was backed by Council transport officials but rejected by the LibDem/SNP Council leaders. However, now, following the results of the consultation, a decision on the scheme will go to a meeting of the Council’s Transport-Environment committee, next Tuesday (10 February).

Councillor Burgess, the Greens’ Environment spokesperson said:

“Edinburgh Council now has a chance to introduce a groundbreaking green initiative, the first of its kind in Scotland, that will reduce carbon emissions from vehicles. If we seize these sorts of opportunities we can gradually achieve the cuts needed to tackle climate chaos.

“Back in 2007 when we proposed this idea all the political parties supported it but after officials had worked up a scheme, Council leaders got cold feet.

“Perhaps they thought the scheme wouldn’t be popular but now with such overwhelming public support, including from permit holders, I’m confident that Councillors from the other parties will give it the go ahead next week.

“It also sends an important message that public appetite for action on climate change needs a response from politicians.”

NOTES:

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.Residential Parking Permits – Update on Proposed Alterations to Charging Mechanisms Linked to Environmental Concerns’ – Report to Transport Infrastructure & Environment Committee, City of Edinburgh Council, Tuesday 10 February 2009.
See http://cpol.edinburgh.gov.uk/getdoc_ext.asp?DocId=122603