Greens call for reduced residence parking charges for low emission cars

Cars parked in Newton Terrace

Despite opposition from Green councillors some 600 owners of cars with the lowest emission rates are set to lose their 50% discount rate for residents parking permits. From Apr 2019 only owners of electric/ hybrid cars classed as ‘Ultra Low Emission Vehicles will qualify, despite the lack of any on street charging provision in the city in “Respark” areas.

Green councillor Andy D’Agorne says Greens will try to reverse this, and is also leading a cross party councillor scrutiny looking for ways to increase efficiency and cut all standard permit charges. “Other cities manage to have much lower charges and more comprehensive coverage of streets near the centre to protect residents from selfish on-street commuter parking, when we have excellent park and ride available” said
councillor D’Agorne

Call-in for Nov 15th Decision by Executive Member for Transport and Planning Nov 15th 2018 item 5: Permit emission charges: Councillors  D’Agorne, Kramm, Craghill

We wish to call this in for post-decision scrutiny for the following reasons:

  1. The effect of this decision is unlikely to have a beneficial impact on air quality because the residents in Respark areas will not be able to buy an appropriate vehicle that qualifies for the discount, in the absence of on-street electric charging facilities. The proposed removal of any discount rate for ‘low emission’ smaller cars also means that there will no longer be an incentive for residents to replace vehicles with a low emission vehicle in the range 75g/km-120g/km and thus fails to support the One Planet York principles and the Clean Air Strategy.

  2. The paper on which this decision was based contradicts itself and does not accurately reflect changes to VED on which the current discount rate is based:

    Para 8 states ‘..however it should be noted that the tax rate changes only apply to vehicles registered after 1 April 2017’. However elsewhere it states that the proposed change is needed to ‘bring discount criteria into line with the Government changes’ when it is only the newest vehicles that are affected. 

    Para 26 states that ‘the proposed change would affect approximately 1100 households’ and 200 season ticket holders whereas Annex A shows 815 qualifying permits without explaining the discrepancy.

    The final paragraph of the report again wrongly states ‘If this change isn’t implemented the council would be out of step with the Government road tax policy… as this is now out of date… this change needs to be implemented as soon as possible given the lack of national policy this is now based on.’ This is despite para 8 statement acknowledging that VED bands A-C still apply to all vehicles registered between 2001 and 2017. Some change may be appropriate, but the policy is still valid for most permit holders and could be adapted to continue to offer discount for the revised low emission bands.

  3. The ‘reason’ given for the recommended change (para 7) also contradicts the situation described above: ‘To update the council’s outdated policy ‘

  4. The reason given states that the change will ‘seek to encourage ULEV car ownership’. The paper fails to substantiate how this will be the case. The only vehicles that meet the proposed criteria are in fact alternative fuelled electric of hybrid electric vehicles. Lack of provision of on-street charging was discussed at the Decision Session in response to a representation from a resident wanting an on-street charging facility to enable them to buy a ULEV car. In the absence of any policy to enable installation of such charging provision (as confirmed by officers at the meeting), it is not logical to suggest that residents who need a permit to park on the public highway outside their home will be incentivised to buy such a vehicle in order to qualify for the new discount criteria.

    Also, there has been no reference to any additional provision of electric charging points for season ticket holders in council car parks to enable them to switch to a ULEV vehicle.

  5. Given the above, there is no evidence to support para 29 that ‘this meets the council’s sustainable transport policy by encouraging sustainable transport usage and ULEV uptake’ since there is no provision for residents to charge such ULEV vehicles within Respark areas of the city, and the absence of a discount for low emission vehicles is just as likely to lead to them being replaced with a higher emission conventional vehicle.

    We therefore call for the decision to be referred back to the Executive Member to consider Option 4, acknowledging that bands A-C continue to apply to vehicles registered before April 2017 and for the discount to be applicable to the new (post-2017 registration) bands below 110g/km CO2 emissions.

    The effect would be that both ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV) and low emission (LEV) vehicles would continue to qualify for the discounted rate after April 2019, thereby continuing to incentivise residents to purchase lower emission vehicles appropriate to the facilities available to them where they live.

    Budgetary adjustment would need to be made in the City of York Council 2019-20 budget to reflect this reduction in savings from April 2019.

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