World First for Richmond as Carbon-Metered Parking goes Live: Costs Halved for Cleaner Cars
| 1st Oct 2009|
From today (1 October) drivers of 'greener' cars in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames will benefit from cheaper parking based on the carbon dioxide emissions of their vehicle.
Richmond upon Thames council is introducing this innovative scheme, to encourage motorists to use cleaner vehicles in its bid to hit local and national Government targets for emissions.
Drivers whose cars emit the lowest levels of greenhouse gases - categories A, B and C - will be charged half the current amount, with an estimated 60 per cent qualifying for the discount or paying the standard price. Charges for vehicles in the highest CO2 groups will increase by 25 per cent. For cars manufactured before 2001 - where the DVLA holds no emissions data - costs will vary with engine size.
The move is expected not only to influence buying and usage behaviour among drivers, but also to increase the switch to digital and mobile payments for on- and off-street parking. Cashless parking brings significant benefits to the council, reducing cash collection and processing, cutting machine maintenance and minimising ticketing needs.
To receive carbon-metered parking discounts, motorists must pay for parking using RingGo - the UK's-leading pay by phone service - or apply for a Richmond smart card, available from the council. Cash payment is still an option, but those choosing this method will pay the highest rate for their parking.
With RingGo, motorists simply turn up and register when they want to park. This takes a couple of minutes the first time, but on subsequent visits, the call takes just seconds, as the system identifies the mobile phone and retrieves saved information.
Joanna Miller, Technical Director for RingGo says "We are very proud to have introduced a world first with Richmond council. When the council first linked residents parking permits to vehicle emissions in 2007, we recognised a similar opportunity for parking payment. RingGo accesses the DVLA database for each customer's registration, so offering carbon-metered charging is a natural extension of the service. But we needed a determined and forward-looking authority such as Richmond to make it happen."
Councillor Trigg, Cabinet Member for Traffic, Transport and Parking for Richmond council said:
"In 2007 we were the first local authority in the country to introduce CO2 related parking charges for motorists with resident's permits in our borough. This scheme has not raised any extra money for the council - it was never intended to - but it has begun to have a significant impact on the type of cars people are choosing to buy.
"I am delighted that we are now to extend this principal to all parking on street and in council owned car parks. We are trying to get people to think more carefully about the environment. The new changes will get the message across to everyone who visits our borough - not just those who live here with residents permits. I hope many other local authorities will follow our lead as they did with resident's permits two years ago. My colleagues or I will be very happy to speak to any council who wants to know more about our parking initiatives."