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Agenda item

Emissions Based Parking Charges

Ben Stephens, Head of Parking Services


Chris Lee, Director of Environment and Regeneration introduced the item and explained why Merton is consulting on changes to charges and why now. Introducing emissions based charging was always planned, but in the last consultation the proposed changes did not include emissions as the technology to deliver it was not available.


Covid-19 has meant that public transport not available so during the lockdown we saw a move nationally to encourage much more active travel. In outer London car use now at 150% of previous levels so this is an issue that still needs addressing. We have delayed this consultation due to lock down, as the proposal was originally agreed to go out to consultation in the spring.


The proposed approach builds on the previous consultation. We do not have control over vehicles passing through the borough so we know the proposals do not take into account movement of vehicles. However, it is important to take a proportionate approach to the tools we have  


Ben Stephens, Head of Parking Services gave a presentation on the details of the proposals and the presentation is attached to this report. Ben explained that more than half of London boroughs either have or are introducing some form of emissions based charging. It is proposed that a supplementary charge based on the approach in the London ULEZ scheme will replace the current diesel levy. The consultation will remain open until 23 October 2020.

FOLLOWING THE MEETING: the consultation was extended to 26 October.


A resident asked when this new system would come into effect. Ben said a decision would be taken by Cabinet later in autumn / early 2021 so nothing would be implemented until 2021. Ben also explained what modelling has been done, we know roughly what cars are owned in Merton but this is changing all the time so as a result we have not modelled the likely revenue impact. We do not know yet what impact the last round of changes has had on car owner’s behaviour. Any income from parking charges can only be spent on transport, so we would look to improve public transport and active travel. Largest cost to the Council is the Freedom pass, highways repairs, and administration of CPZs. If there is surplus active travel would be one of the priorities.


Residents can check their car by using Transport for London’s ULEZ checker, and emissions on the Government website. The Mayor of London has launched a car and motorcycle scrappage scheme to help low income and disabled Londoners scrap older, more polluting cars and motorcycles in favour of cleaner vehicles and greener forms of transport. We also expect use of public transport to return to normal once the pandemic has settled down.


Councillor Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Transport, summed up the discussion. He said that Merton wants to improve air quality and make sure the scheme is fairer. The scheme will be a success if fewer people have cars on the road. Cllr Whelton encouraged responses to the consultation and these will be considered by Scrutiny and the Cabinet.


Supporting documents: