New parking permit charges to clear our air

Emissions campaign

New emissions based parking charges are now in place as the council takes action to help clean up our air quality and meet our commitment to improve the health of our most vulnerable communities.

In recognition of the financial impacts of Covid-19 and after listening to concerns raised by residents and members, the Council has introduced a one-off 20% discount to be applied to the overall cost of the first resident’s permit under the new emissions based charges.

The digital online permit system, MiPermit Newham, went live in December with the first permits becoming active this week and more than 6000 permits already registered.

The permits are in bands with the most polluting vehicles paying most and no charge for the cleanest vehicles. The biggest group of vehicles are in the lowest charge bracket of £60 (£48 with the Covid discount).

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.

Councillor James Asser, lead member for Environment, Highways and Sustainable Transport said:

“The pandemic has highlighted the effect poor air quality has on public health.

“Long-term exposure to polluted air can have permanent health effects including development of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. Those with underlying respiratory illnesses like these have been the most vulnerable to the most severe outcomes of Covid-19 infection.

“Just last month, in a landmark ruling, a coroner found that air pollution was a contributory factor in the death of a nine year old girl from Lewisham, Ella Kissi-Debrah and this highlights that we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our communities and improve our air quality.”

The introduction of the new emissions based charges support the aims of Newham’s Towards A Better Newham action plan. The plan to support the borough’s recovery from Covid-19 includes a commitment to tackle the very poor air quality in the borough which is having a severe impact on the most vulnerable in our communities.

Cllr Asser added: “The impact of Covid, coupled with poor air quality, has presented us with twin challenges to improve the lives and health of our residents. There is now emerging evidence about the links between increased Covid mortality rates and long-term exposure to air pollution as well as dirty air being linked to increase risks of catching coronavirus.

“During the first lockdown we saw 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.

“Newham has the poorest air quality in the country and some of the highest rates of child hospital admissions linked to asthma. Every year, 96 Newham residents die prematurely due to poor air quality.

“Emissions from vehicles are a major contributor to the borough’s poor air quality and the introduction of this emissions-based approach will help encourage people to rethink the number, type and use of their vehicles. Doing nothing is no longer an option.”

More information about the new emissions based charges:

Published: 08 Jan 2021