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Newham launches consultation on parking proposals to help tackle poor air quality

2 March 2020 in Environment and Health
Newham Council has today launched a consultation on ambitious parking policy plans to address poor air quality, the climate emergency and vehicle emissions.
​The parking proposals are aimed at encouraging residents to switch towards less polluting vehicles and to encourage more local trips to be made by sustainable modes of transport.

Last year, the Council declared a climate emergency and published a 25-point action plan to address the challenges of poor air quality in the borough, including measures to reduce the amount of pollution created by vehicles.

Cllr James Asser, cabinet member for the environment, highways and sustainable transport said: “Emissions from vehicles are the major contributor to the Borough’s poor air quality and parking policies and procedures have the ability to influence the number, type and the use of vehicles in an area and can be an important tool in delivering behavioural change and air quality improvement.

“The Council’s parking policies do not currently meet air quality or public health objectives and have not been reviewed since 2012.”  

As well as meeting its own ambitious targets, Newham must also meet the challenge set out in the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy to reduce the number of vehicle kilometres driven and car ownership in the borough (a reduction of 15% and of 10,000 vehicles by 2041.)

Following a series of focus groups and consultation with residents and businesses over the past 12 months, a new set of parking policies has been developed to improve our poor air quality and encourage behaviour change.

The proposals, approved by Cabinet in February 2020, are now undergoing public consultation to gather views on implementation.

What is being proposed:
  • Emissions-based vehicle charging bands for residential permits (based on DVLA groupings used by HMRC for vehicle taxation
  • First free permit for electric and most plug in hybrid vehicles
  • Changes to business permit charges
  • An increase in on and off-street parking charges
  • Borough-wide cashless parking
  • A review of resident parking zones
  • Introduction of the “Newham Parking Wallet” 
  • A fairer enforcement policy
  • Event day removals at London Stadium and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Cllr Asser said: “We’ve conducted a broad and thorough review to develop the parking policy proposals which are long overdue. The changes proposed to our residential parking charges, bring Newham into line with every other London borough, with one exception.

“We need to make sure that we are managing our roads and parking in a fair and effective way but also one that meets the challenges we face of tackling air pollution, road safety and congestion. Therefore in setting out these new proposals, we need to ensure that we are being ambitious and not just playing catch-up when it comes to taking the necessary steps to cut emissions and improve air quality in the borough.

“These proposals effect everyone and I encourage all the residents in the borough, whether you have a vehicle or not, to take part in our online consultation and have your say on the proposals.” 

The online consultation can be found www.newham.gov.uk/parkingconsultation. Residents and businesses are encouraged to respond by 22 March 2020.