Kingston Council: raising parking fees will help alleviate pollution

A decision to increase resident parking permits for standard petrol cars will apply to on-street parking and in council-owned car parks starting from June 2019.

The rise in fees has been made following a meeting of the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee on 12 February.

The final plans will be submitted to Kingston’s full council on February 26 (as part of the approval of the councils 2019/2020 budget) which entails increasing resident parking permits for standard petrol cars and offering free parking for hybrid and electric car owners.

The Council is instituting the increase in an attempt to tackle pollution in Kingston.

“Polluted air leads to increased illness and risk of early death,” said Councillor Hilary Gander, portfolio holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport.

“If we move to more environmentally friendly vehicles, walking, cycling, and public transport, it will help to make Kingston a better place to live in, work in and visit”.

According to a Kingston Council press release, road transport in the Kingston Borough is responsible for 72.5 per cent of gasses from burnt fuel (Nitrogen Oxides) and 58 per cent from other harmful chemicals (atmospheric particulate matter).

The council estimates that toxic emissions and air pollution contribute to one in twenty deaths in the area.

The reason for the new parking charges is based on the amount of vehicle-related carbon dioxide emissions, and aims to encourage people to use more environmentally friendly forms of transport.

To alleviate some of the financial effects owing to the rise in parking charges on residents, the committee will offer 30 minutes free parking on a number of designated roads in the area, which includes high streets.

Over the past few years the Kingston Council has been promoting environmentally sustainable forms of travel, which include cycling and walking.

In 2014, Kingston was one of three local authorities to receive £32 million funding from the Mayor of London and TFL to encourage more people to cycle and to improve safety on the roads.

The plans for the new parking charges will start from 1 June 2019. The changes will affect every household when renewing their current permits or making a new application.

All the changes in prices will be available on the council’s website by the end of February 2019.

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