Councillor Andy D’Agorne speaking at Executive Member for Transport and Planning Decision Session November 15th
Firstly, I should put on record that the Green Party budget amendment of Feb 2017 would have scrapped this ‘greenwash’ change to respark fees and cut the standard fee. Far from incentivising ‘green action’ this measure penalises those who have made the switch to running a small low emission conventional vehicle.
The description of ‘updating the council’s parking discount criteria inline with Government changes to Vehicle Excise Duty’ is disingenuous – I checked on nextgreencar website and bands A-C still apply to vehicles registered prior to Mar 2017 and there will still be 3 bands in the range 75g/km – 110g/km for which the council could offer a discount if it chose to, so as to incentivise owners of older vehicles to upgrade to a lower emissionpetrol car. The proposal for ‘grandfather rights’ to soften the blow could perversely actually encourage residents to hang on to an older qualifying low emission car for longer and will remove the incentive (when changing vehicles)to stay with a smaller car. The paper makes no reference to any research thecouncil done or got from elsewhere to demonstrate that this change will result overall in a beneficial impact on air quality? Has this been properly assessed to check it won’t make matters worse?
This change really does discredit ‘Green incentives’ and is a slap in theface for over 600 residents who thought they had an ‘affordable’ repark charge, by virtue of driving a low emission vehicle (which tends to be a small modest car such asa Clio, Fiat 500 Nissan Micra etc). Let’s assume for one minute that even afraction of those residents chose to replace their car with an Ultra LowEmission Vehicle emitting below 75g/km. Just how are they going to re-chargetheir hybrid or electric car living in a terraced street? If you genuinelybelieve we want these residents to respond to the new incentive, where is thecouncil strategy to provide for such a scenario? If the council is seriousabout air quality, this is not the way to tackle the problem – after 11 monthsthe council still hasn’t managed to install a dozen anti-idling signs at citycentre bus stops and is prevaricating about a clean air zone because of thecost to multinational bus operators, yet our residents are seen as fair gamefor this attack in the guise of cleaning up our air quality.