Emissions based charging

Frequently asked questions

What are the new residential parking permit charges?

The new parking charges for residents include the introduction of five emissions-based vehicle charging bands from 6 January 2021.

A one-off 40% Covid discount is being applied to the overall costs of a first residential permit.

The Council estimates that 80% vehicles registered in the borough will be liable for a modest residential permit charge of less than £60 per year.

For households with multiple vehicles the total cost of permits will be the permit emission tier charge for each household vehicle, plus additional vehicle supplementary charges of £100 for the 2nd vehicle and £200 for the 3rd or any additional vehicles registered at an address in the borough. Residents can spread the cost of permits by opting for a 3 month, 6 month or 12 month permit.

Please note: if you do not renew your permit and continue to park in Newham without a valid permit you may face a penalty charge notice.

What is a Covid discount?

In recognition of the financial impacts of Covid-19, and listening to concerns raised by residents, the Council has introduced a 40% discount to be applied to the overall cost of the first resident’s permit for each household.

For example:

  • A household with two cars will pay the emission charge for the first vehicle (with a 40% Covid discount) and an emission charge for the second vehicle, plus the additional vehicle supplement of £100.
  • A household with three cars will pay the emission charge for each of the three vehicles (with a 40% Covid discount applied to the first permit only), plus the additional vehicle supplement of £100 for the second vehicle and £200 for the third vehicle.

Can I pay for my permit in instalments?

Yes. Residents, businesses and industrial permit holders can spread the costs of parking permits by renewing for a 3 month, 6 month or 12 month permit. This can all be managed within MiPermit Newham.

What are the fees for permits?

You can find a handy table of fees on our emissions based charging webpage: www.newham.gov.uk/emissionsbasedcharging

How do I know what tier my vehicle falls into?

If you are unsure which tier your vehicle falls in please refer to the vehicle log book (VQ5) which will contain this information.

I paid for my permit before February 8, 2021, when do I get a refund?

If you purchased a 12 month residential permit before February 8, 2021, you are entitled a 20% refund on your first permit. The refund will be automatically returned to you. Due to the volume of permits to be refunded, it may take several weeks to be processed. You can check you payment history in MiPermit Newham to check when the refund has been processed. Please wait until the end of March before contacting us if you haven’t received your refund.

All existing permits remain valid until they expire or are cancelled by you.

I have just paid for a 12 month permit, but I want to change to a shorter permit.

If you wish to take up the option of spreading parking permit costs throughout the year, you are entitled to apply for 3 month or 6 month permit.

To do so you need to cancel your 12 month permit and apply for the shorter permit.

Anyone cancelling a permit must ensure that a new permit is applied for immediately, or they risk receiving a parking fine. Please note – refunds for cancelling any existing paid for permits may take up to 10 working days to be processed.

How did you decide on the parking charges you have set?

The new charges are meant to incentivise motorists to make more environmentally friendly transport choices and improve air quality in Newham, by reducing nitrogen oxides and harmful particulates.

We estimate, based on information on vehicle registrations in Newham from DVLA, that the largest group of vehicles will be liable for a modest residential permit charge of £60 per year, about £1.15 per week.

The maximum vehicle charge for the most polluting vehicles will be £200 (£16.67/month or £3.85/week).

The cost of permits can be spread over the year by choosing a 3 month or 6 month permit option.

First permit holders can apply a 40% discount to the fee.

The range of charges we proposed for Newham residents’ vehicles are still lower than over 50% of other similar and neighbouring boroughs like Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

People are struggling financially due to the ongoing impacts of Covid-19. Why is the Council implementing these changes now?

In recognition of the financial impacts of Covid-19, and listening to concerns raised by residents, the Council has extended its discount to the overall cost of first permit to 40%. We’ve also introduced the option of a 3 month, and 6 month permit renewal to allow residents to spread the costs of a permit over the year.

It’s important to note that even without the Covid discount, our charging system is cheaper than that of neighbouring boroughs. In setting our charges we took into account the higher levels of hardship in the borough and the new charges are in the bottom 50% of London Boroughs, with significantly higher charges applied in other authorities.

Newham has the worst air quality in the country. Our residents are exposed to high levels of toxic pollution caused by vehicles, resulting in the highest rate of deaths in England which equates to 96 people dying prematurely each year. Newham also has the highest number of children admitted to hospital due to asthma-related conditions.

In a borough where poor air quality is having a significant impact on the health of the population, the young and the elderly in particular, we are at a critical point in the battle to improve the environment and our air quality in particular, and we need to act, which is why we have introduced emissions charges.

Why isn’t there a discount for multi-car permits?

Emissions from vehicles are the major contributor to the borough’s poor air quality and parking policies and procedures are one important factor in which we can influence the number, type and the use of vehicles and can be an important tool in delivering behavioural change and air quality improvement.

If we provided discounts across all permits, we would not be encouraging the behaviour change required to improve our air quality.

Why are the charges based on CO2 emissions?

The CO2 emissions vehicle charging bands are based on DVLA groupings.

While CO2 (a greenhouse gas) is a major contributing factor to climate change, in reality, cars emit a potent cocktail of exhaust gases, many of which have harmful effects.

Others include carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), benzene (C6H6), other hydrocarbons (HC) and particulates.

So although CO2 emissions aren’t the only factor in our poor air quality, the DVLA groupings are widely understood and easy to understand.

I have a Transport for London (TfL) certificate of exemption, do I need a Newham permit?

If you live in Newham and wish to park in a resident parking zone you will require a Newham permit.

A TfL certificate only applies to the Congestion Zone, the Low Emissions Zone and the Ultra Low Emissions Zone, which are schemes run by Tfl.

Being exempt from a TfL scheme does not give you automatic exemption from the Newham emissions based charging scheme.

For Newham permits the emissions charge is linked to your vehicle's CO2 emissions banding or, if that is not available, your vehicle engine size.

What is the ULEZ charge?

The ULEZ charge is the Ultra Low Emission Zone charge that Tfl is introducing in October 2021.

Four out of five cars already meet the ULEZ emissions standards, but TfL is encouraging owners of older polluting cars, motorcycles, lighter vans and minibuses to take action.

You can find out more about the ULEZ on the Tfl website.

Why is Newham introducing emissions based charging now when Tfl is introducing the ULEZ extension in October 2021. Isn’t this just double charging on air quality and emissions?

The ULEZ on its own will not deliver the step change in air quality that Newham requires if we are to address our public health challenges.

The ULEZ does not target all harmful vehicle emissions and is based instead on NOx only. While NOx undoubtedly has a major health impact, ULEZ takes no real account of CO2 or particulate matter emissions.

The current ULEZ zone has impacted older HGVs and coaches, and has been very good at removing older commercial vehicles that are very polluting, it has had limited impact on the make-up of private vehicles, with the vast majority of private vehicles unaffected by the charge.

For example, a 4 litre diesel SUV that is less than 4 years old would easily pass the ULEZ restrictions and would not be subject to a charge under the Tfl scheme. Under Newham’s emissions based charging this vehicle would be charged a fee based on its Co2 emissions, which are impacting on our local air quality.

Why does Newham measure emissions using CO2 and Tfl uses NOx?

The emissions based charging scheme introduced by Newham is different to the Tfl clean air schemes.

The CO2 emissions vehicle charging bands are based on DVLA groupings.

While CO2 (a greenhouse gas) is a major contributing factor to climate change, in reality, cars emit a potent cocktail of exhaust gases, many of which have harmful effects.

Others include carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), benzene (C6H6), other hydrocarbons (HC) and particulates.

So although CO2 emissions aren’t the only factor in our poor air quality, the DVLA groupings are widely understood and easy to understand.

Why are you charging for emissions based charging when my car is parked?

A parking permit does not give a resident the right to retain a parking space on the public highway 365 days a year. Any resident who has a vehicle which is never driven may want to re-consider why they pay for a permit to park on the road.

Six in ten car trips are made for shopping, leisure and personal business purposes and a third of car trips are shorter than 2km. While many residents may think their short journeys make no impact on our air quality, vehicles in fact, emit more pollution during the initial part of a journey.

Why aren’t we charging people who park on driveways?

The council only has remit to manage the public highway. Those parking on the public highway who require a residential permit will be given 2 hours free parking across the borough each month. Those with driveways and no permits, are not eligible for this free parking offer.

How do the free parking options work?

We have a variety of additional free parking options, including monthly borough-wide free parking hours for resident permit holders.

Can I purchase visitor permits?

Yes. Information about visitor permits and free parking allocations is available online.

I am a Blue Badge holder, how will emissions based charging affect me?

Across London, Blue Badge holders can park on single and double yellow lines for a period of up to 3 hours if there are no loading restrictions in place. In Newham, they can also park within any permit bay for an unlimited time, with the exception of a disabled resident parking permit bay which has additional requirements. The Blue Badge scheme is administered by government.

Will emissions based charging apply to disabled resident parking permits?

In Newham, Blue Badge holders can apply for a disabled resident parking permit to enable them to park in any designated disabled resident bay within their resident parking zone. Disabled resident parking permits remain free and have no emissions based charge.

Why has Newham changed its parking policies?

Newham’s parking policies had not been comprehensively reviewed since 2012 and required updating to meet air quality and public health objectives.

What is the issue with Newham’s air quality?

Newham has the worst air quality in the UK, 96 people die prematurely due to the poor quality of the air that they breathe. A recent report from the British Heart Foundation showed that living in Newham is the equivalent of smoking 159 cigarettes a year. Newham has the highest levels for hospital admissions due to asthma-related conditions for under-9s in London.

What is the link between residential parking permits and air quality?

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. Part of these measures included ways to reduce the amount of pollution created by vehicles.

In particular, we want to encourage local residents to consider leaving the car at home and opt for alternative forms of transport like walking or cycle for short journeys, as it’s been proven that vehicles emit more pollution during the first few miles of a journey.

What evidence is there that emissions based charging works?

In Westminster, Islington and Camden, diesel usage dropped by between 16-20% after emissions based parking was launched. Conversely, in London boroughs where no emission-based schemes exist, the number of vehicles parking has continued to rise. With the worst air quality in the country, doing nothing to reduce emissions from our resident’s vehicles is no longer an option.

I’ve never had to pay for a parking permit before. Why should I have to pay to park outside my home?

Newham is one of only two out of 33 London boroughs which currently does not apply a charge for the first residential permit, with all our neighbouring boroughs already applying a charge.

Emissions from vehicles are the major contributor to the borough’s poor air quality and parking policies and procedures are one important factor in which we can influence the number, type and the use of vehicles and can be an important tool in delivering behavioural change and air quality improvement.

What if my household has two electric vehicles?

There are no emissions based charges for electric vehicles, however as a household with two cars, there would be an additional vehicle supplement of £100 for the second vehicle for a 12 month permit.

What is the council doing about electric charging points?

The council has expanded the availability of electric vehicle charging points across the borough by installing 80 new on-street charging points, with more to come in 2021. Residents who wish to suggest a location for future electric charging points on the public highway can add a location on this interactive map.

I’m on a low income, why is the council not being fairer in its approach to permit charges?

As part of the review of our parking policies, we’ve sought to be fair in our approach. Running the parking process costs money, and it’s only fair that people who don’t have cars shouldn’t subsidise that.

We know that the majority of households (52%) do not have access to a private vehicle. The proposals to charge for permits and link them to the emissions created by the 48% of households who do have access to a vehicle, seeks to ensure that those who create the most pollution, pay towards the remedial measures we must introduce to tackle poor air quality.

Is the Council just imposing these charges to make money?

The new charges are aimed at improving air quality through the introduction of emissions-based charging. Any funds raised from parking revenues must, by law, be reinvested ONLY into the roads and transport. Parking charges cannot be used to raise general Council revenue. Any money raised must be reinvested in improving our roads and streets. This includes funding initiatives like Healthy School Streets, electric vehicle charging points, cycle hire, cycle lanes, road resurfacing, fixing potholes, air quality monitoring, road safety schemes, new pedestrian crossings, and traffic calming measures.

The borough has a number of major roads (A13, A406) and also has an airport, surely my car isn’t going to cause much of an issue for air quality?

The whole of Newham is significantly exceeding the World Health Organisation’s air quality guideline objectives. Most particulate matter emissions in London are caused by road traffic. Six in ten car trips are made for shopping, leisure and personal business purposes and a third of car trips are shorter than 2km. Vehicles emit more pollution during the initial part of a journey.

We must each take responsibility for helping improve the local environment by contributing less pollution wherever possible.

We know that emissions-based charging is just one part of the bigger picture. That’s why the Council is working with the GLA and TfL to tackle pollution on the major roads not controlled by Newham. It is also why we oppose the building of the Silvertown Tunnel and to further expansion of the airport.

Why don’t we charge people to use the A13 and other main roads?

Those roads are managed by Tfl and not the council.

Why haven’t we put a charge on lorries driving in the borough?

Tfl has sought to target polluting heavy vehicles through the expansion of the ULEZ.

Why don’t we tax the airport?

The council does not have remit to tax the airport. However the airport must meet other air quality objectives. As a result its contribution to our pollution is actually surprisingly small compared to road transport.  Measurements taken from the strict air quality monitoring regime at the airport is considerably lower than the measurements we have recorded outside some of our local schools.

All the pollution comes from cars driving through not from people who live here, why are you only targeting local residents?

Our toxic air is killing our residents. Each year, 96 people in Newham die prematurely due to the poor quality of the air that they breathe. A recent report from the British Heart Foundation showed that living in Newham is the equivalent of every man, woman and child smoking 159 cigarettes a year, with the borough having the highest levels for hospital admissions due to asthma-related conditions for under-9s in London.

For this reason, we need our residents to take personal responsibility for their contribution to our poor air quality by reducing the number of journeys they take by car, particularly those in high polluting vehicles, and to consider walking or cycling short journeys, as it’s been proven that vehicles emit more pollution during the first few miles of a journey.

What incentives are you offering people who move to greener vehicles?

A free permit is retained for all vehicles with CO2 emissions less than 50g/km, which includes all fully electric and most newer plug-in hybrid vehicles. Government grants for new electric vehicles are also available and similar assistance will be provided to those residents who wish to apply. The Council is also delivering a network of residential electric vehicle charging points for those residents without off-street parking.

I am a business and will already be impacted by the Ultra Low Emission Zone charges. How are your new parking proposals going to impact my business?

Business permit charges will become emission based, with zero and hybrid emissions vehicles receiving free business permits and new charges introduced for three further emission tiers. We estimate 60% of business permits will be either the same price as now or free. 

Where can I find the council's parking policy document?

The parking policy document is available on this page.