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Council approves introduction of emissions-based parking charges

Hounslow Council has approved the introduction of emissions-based parking charges for Pay and Display parking and business permits while introducing Sunday parking charges for Hounslow town centre.

Published: Thursday, 16th July 2020

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Hounslow Council has approved the introduction of emissions-based parking charges for Pay and Display parking and business permits, following a single member decision taken by Cllr Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport at Hounslow Council on 1 July.  The council is also extending parking controls to cover Sundays in Hounslow town centre and the introduction of Sunday charging for off-street parking places. The decision followed a public consultation on proposed changes that closed in February.

The new charging schedule for both on-street and off-street parking charges and business permits will see lower charges for electric vehicles, a continuation of existing charges for low emission vehicles and higher charges for more polluting, higher emission petrol and diesel vehicles.

The Council has also agreed to introduce parking controls in council-owned car parks in Hounslow town centre on Sundays between 11am and 5pm, having initially considered introducing controls from 8am to 6.30pm, as this better matches shopping times and periods of peak demand.

The recommendations to introduce emissions-based parking charges are being made to reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality, an objective of the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, Transport Strategy (the Local Implementation Plan or LIP 2019-2041) and Air Quality Action Plan 2018-2023. In addition, the Mayor of London and the government has challenged local authorities to play their part in encouraging a shift towards lower emission vehicles and introducing an emissions-based element into our parking charges is considered a reasonable response to that need.

The recommendations to extend charging in off-street car parks in Hounslow Town Centre are being made to better manage the reduced supply of parking space in the town centre, as well as also providing environmental benefits.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic it is recommended that these changes are brought in on 1 January 2021. This will allow time for trade to recover in the borough’s high streets following easing of the lockdown, as well as testing and setting up the necessary technology to differentiate between vehicles of different emissions bandings.

Cllr Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport at Hounslow Council said:

“The introduction of emissions-based charging for on- and off-street parking charges and business permits in the borough, as well as the introduction of Sunday charging in Hounslow town centre, is a necessary part of our strategy to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in the borough for everyone’s benefit. We need to rethink our relationship with cars and be mindful of the impact we are having by making unnecessary journeys and driving more polluting vehicles.

“A third of Hounslow’s air pollution is caused by motor vehicles and we need to take direct action to change this. Over time we know that a change in consumer behaviour and advances in technology will lead to better air quality, but we really need to expediate this through policy. Not everyone will like this initially, but in time everyone will benefit from improved air quality and also help play a part in addressing the climate emergency.”

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