Lewisham Council is proposing to increase resident and business parking permit charges for vehicles with higher CO2 emissions and introduce an additional surcharge on the cost of parking diesel cars.
There will also be an increase in hourly parking charges.
The proposals, mentioned by mayor Damien Egan in his interview with Ladywell-Live, are included in the council’s updating of its parking policy, and will be put out to public consultation over the summer.
The council says the proposals are in line with best practice and are aimed at improving air quality across the borough. They also complement the London mayor’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone which came into effect earlier in 2019.
The London mayor and independent academic studies have said air pollution in the capital is now at crisis levels with thousands of people in the city dying prematurely each year.
Lewisham, which declared a climate emergency in 2019, says it now has the opportunity through its parking policy “to introduce measures that will improve our air quality.”
“Our proposals would ensure that low emission vehicle owners will see charges reduce, while those who own the most polluting vehicles will pay the most.” All parking permits for diesel vehicles would also be subject to a £50 surcharge.
Parking permits for disabled residents would continue to be free. The council says the last increase to parking permit charges was in 2011.
Several London councils have already introduced banded parking permit charges. The City of London introduced banded parking charges in 2018 and councils such as Tower Hamlets and Camden brought them in earlier in 2019.
Other proposals included in Lewisham’s policy update are : The provision of 10 hours of free visitor parking credit to all households that currently have at least one paid annual resident parking permit.
The provision of only mandatory, enforceable disabled parking bays, rather than advisory disabled parking bays.
Changes to the application criteria for disabled parking bays based on assessment of medical need by a qualified person and also highway criteria under which a location would be assessed to determine if a disabled bay may be installed.
An increase in the hourly rate for parking to £1.60 for both cash and cashless payments.
Lewisham will carry out a comprehensive six-week consultation over the summer. A final report on the proposals is expected to go to Mayor and Cabinet in the autumn/winter of this year.