Newham Council will be introducing new parking permit charges and a new paperless permit system in January 2021 as part of ongoing efforts to improve air quality in the borough.
The new parking permit charges are aimed at lowering vehicle emissions by encouraging residents to switch towards less polluting vehicles, as well as considering taking more local trips by sustainable modes of transport like walking and cycling.
The new permit charges will start from 6 January 2021, and will be based on CO2 categories used by HMRC for vehicle taxation. The vast majority of permits will cost £60.
The costs will increase for additional permits and for higher polluting vehicles. Residents with permit renewals due in early 2021 are encouraged to check the online information and fees chart and prepare ahead for the new costs.
Cllr James Asser, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Sustainable Transport, said: “Emissions from vehicles are a major contributor to the borough’s poor air quality and these parking changes are aimed at influencing the number, type and use of vehicles in Newham. We’re announcing these charges now so that people have time to prepare.
“Newham has the poorest air quality in the country and some of the highest rates of child hospital admissions linked to asthma. The Covid-19 pandemic has also highlighted how clinically vulnerable people with lung conditions, such as severe asthma, are to the virus.
“But the coronavirus lockdown also provided us with evidence of the impact of fewer cars on our roads – cleaner air. A 40 per cent reduction in road traffic during lockdown resulted in a 50 per cent reduction in noxious nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in our busiest roads.”
“Every car journey creates pollution which impacts on us all. We know vehicles emit more pollution during the first few miles of a journey and a third of car trips are for distances that could easily be completed by less polluting options such as walking or cycling.”
Most residents with renewals due in January 2021 will need to save around £5 a week before their permits are due for renewal. The average cost of permits over 12 months requires residents to save just over £1 a week.
The new emissions based charges will also apply to business permits and industrial permits, with new discounted permits available for Newham-based charities.
To help support the switch to hybrid and electric vehicles, there is no emission based levy for this type of vehicle. The council is also making available new electric vehicle charging points across the borough from next month to make it easier for residents to access public charging points.
A new online parking permit system will be introduced at the same time as the new emissions charges, meaning from January 2021 permit holders will no longer be issued with paper permits.
Information on how to register for and use the new online system will be provided to permit holders ahead of their 2021 renewals.