Edinburgh Council Approves Green Parking Charges

A proposal by Green Councillors in Edinburgh to link parking charges with car pollution [1] has today been approved by councillors and will now be introduced next year.

The Greens’ scheme, the first of its kind in Scotland, will create a sliding scale of charges for residents’ permits according to vehicle CO2 ratings, encourage residents to switch to less polluting vehicles and reduce climate-changing pollution. It will see parking permit charges slashed to as little as £15pa for the least polluting vehicles and doubled to £320pa for the most polluting.

This morning’s meeting of the Council’s Transport Infrastructure and Environment Committee approved the scheme following over a year’s development. In a 3 month public consultation, three quarters of respondents backed it.

Conservative opponents argued against the scheme despite public support, the reductions in pollution it would bring, and the fact that only one if five permit holders will end up paying more.

Councillor Steve Burgess, the Greens’ Environment spokesperson, was the original proposer of the scheme. He said;
“I’m delighted Edinburgh Council will now introduce this groundbreaking green initiative, the first of its kind in Scotland. It will help reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that are causing climate change. The Council must seize every opportunity of this sort to show leadership in Scotland and to contribute to global efforts to cut the pollution.
“The public gave overwhelming backing to this scheme, and this sends an important message to politicians that people want to see bold action to tackle climate change.”

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