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London Council Proposes Emission-Based Charging for Resident Parking


Richmond upon Thames Council in southwest London has drawn up proposals to charge more for residents’ parking permits for those with cars that produce higher CO2 emissions and less for the least polluting cars.

Under the proposals, which go before the council’s cabinet on 6 November, those with the lowest emitting vehicles will pay nothing while others will qualify for reductions of up to 50%. There will be a sliding scale for higher emission vehicles with the highest being charged up to three times (£300, US$563) what they currently pay for their annual parking permits.

Also contained in the report are proposals to charge households an extra 50% for permits on second and subsequent cars in addition to the adjusted payments for emissions. Thus, a household with two high-emitting cars could end up paying £750 for parking rather than £200.

The proposals, if implemented, will be a national first.

Climate change is the single greatest challenge facing the world today. We can no longer bury our heads in the sand and pretend that it is not happening, or that dealing with it is up to somebody else. And Richmond upon Thames is one of the highest CO2 emitting boroughs in London.

For too long, it has been seen as a problem that only central governments or international organizations could address. The truth is that we must all start acting now at local level.

First and foremost, we must identify what we can do and there is a lot that can be done locally that will make a real difference. Second, this is about showing real leadership—local government has an increasingly pivotal role to play, with our communities, in this and other important issues. We must continue to think global but act local.

We believe that there would be a 15% cut in emissions if everybody bought a car one band lower than they have at present.

I am under no illusions that there will be strongly held views on both sides of the argument—this is no easy win. However, we believe it is the right thing to do and, following consultation, it is our hope to be in a position to implement the proposals by the New Year.

—Cllr Serge Lourie, Leader of Richmond upon Thames Council

The report containing the proposals and going before the council’s cabinet on 6 November will also be considered by the Environment and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 1 November.

An extensive consultation will be carried out among 3,500 households and 1,000 businesses in the borough. Anybody requiring more information and wishing to register their comments should go to or write to the Council to obtain a leaflet.

Proposed Parking Charges by Car Type
Band CO2/kg First Permit Second Permit Example (Gasoline) Example (Diesel)
A Up to 100 Free Free Honda Insight Smart diesel
B 101-120 -50%
50% increase on 1st (£75) Toyota Prius
Peugeot 107
Citroën C2 1.4
Ford Fiesta 1.4
C 121-150
(+ pre-2001 cars <1.549L)
50% increase on 1st (£110) Fiat Panda 1.2
Ford Ka 1.3
VW Golf 1.9 TDI
Jaguar X-type 2.0
D 151-165 -+10%
50% increase on 1st (£165) Peugeot 307 1.4
Nissan Micra 1.4
VW Passat estate 1.9 TDI
E 166-185
(+ pre-2001 cars 1.549L – 3.0L)
50% increase on 1st (£195) Ford Mondeo saloon 1.8i
Rover 75 1.8
Mazda 5 2.0 TD
Jaguar S-type 2.7 saloon
F 186-224 -+50%
50% increase on 1st (£225) Toyota Rav4 2.0
Audi A4 1.6
Land Rover Freelander 2.0
BMW 5 series 3.0 estate
G More than 225
(+ pre-2001 cars >3.0L)
50% increase on 1st (£450) Renault Espace 2.0
BMW X5 4.8

(A hat-tip to Max!)



Rafael Seidl

Interesting idea, though for obvious reasons it can only be applied to parking on public property in that one borough. I'm afraid the primary effect could be depressed real estate values, except for large houses with (double) garages. Total revenue for the council would probably fall rather than rise.

On a technical note, parking attendents cannot be expected to know how much CO2 any given vehicle emits. To prevent fraud, they must be able to quickly verify that the annual parking permit sticker really is the correct one for that vehicle. Printing the vehicle license plate number or VIN on the sticker would help, though inevitably blanks would fall into the hands of criminals at some point. Double-checking a sample of e.g. 1% of stickers against a database would deter cheaters.


Rafael this is a residents parking scheme so you park on the same street as where you live so your car is also matched to a particular house.

Richmond is a *very* desirable area of london to live (average property price is over £400,000). If everyone in the area has to do this it won't affect prices at all.

Residents parking is not a huge revenue earner (about £50 per vehicle per year) and falling revenue is not a reason to not do this. That would be a sign that the scheme is working. I expect a good proportion of the vehicles in this area will be in the top bands so the first few years would be very healthy for the council. Other benefits such as reduced congestion, better quality of life and the cost savings due to the residents having smaller more efficient cars would offset revenue reduction.


Not to mention more parking for everyone in crowded London streets as people are nudged into smaller cars rather than Chelsea tractors (SUVs).

fyi CO2

I argue to the contrary that this borough would become socially more desirable thereby resulting in a positive effect on property values, rugby tables notwithstanding.

Scott Gibson

I think it's a ridiculous idea. In short it's a tax on ownership rather than use (or emissions).

Put it this way. I own a VW Passat 1.8T and I leave it parked on the street outside my home while I take public transport to work. If I were in Richmond upon Thames, I would feel very upset if my efforts to not use my car as often was rewarded with a "stealth tax" on leaving it at home.


If a guy has a PHEV, parks in Richmond, runs an extention cord down to the street - should he pay more for the potential electrical hazard? Use of the public way? Or should he get a lower rate?

It will be an issue.


No, it's a tax on using public streets to park your car. Blocking them up and reducing their utility for others.

If you don't want to pay it, find an alternate location to store the car when you're not using it. Seems quite clear. Or buy a smaller car that takes up less space in crowdwed city streets.


This PHEV/EV extension cord thing will be an issue when they take off extensively. We'll have to find a way round having cords dangling out of letter boxes and across pavements. I expect hybrids will pay according to their tailpipe emissions. But would it be an electrical hazard? More a tripping hazard.


I would just like to echo the views that others have already said, it is a totally stupid idea!!!

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