Emissions based charging

Frequently asked questions

What are emissions based parking permits?
Emissions based permits are residents’ parking permits where vehicles the emit less emissions are charged less than higher polluting vehicles.

There are five emissions based vehicle charging bands.

The Council estimates that 80% of vehicles registered in the borough will be in the permit band that costs less than £60 per year.

There are additional permit fees for any additional vehicles registered at the same address.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 How was the permit emissions banding set?
The permits 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 require a residential permit costing £60 per year which is approximately £1.15 per week.

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

Why are the permits based on CO2 emissions?
The CO2 emissions vehicle 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 (ULEZ), 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 permit 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 Transport for London introduced in October, 2021 and that is administered by TfL.

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.

 What’s the difference between ULEZ and emissions based permits?
The ULEZ does not target all harmful vehicle emissions and is based on NOx only. While NOx has a major health impact, ULEZ takes no real account of CO2 or particulate matter emissions. This means 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 current ULEZ zone has impacted older HGVs and coaches, but it has had limited impact on the make-up of private vehicles, with the vast majority of private vehicles unaffected by the charge.

The CO2 emissions vehicle permit bands are based on DVLA groupings, which are widely understood and easy to understand.

Why are you charging for an emissions based permit when my car is parked?
Whilst a parked car does not create emissions, research show that when these vehicles are driven they are often used for short journeys. 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.

Overall, 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 about residents who park on their driveway?
The Council only has remit to manage the public highway and therefore emissions based permits are not necessary for those who solely park on their private driveways and who never park on the road outside their property. 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 permits 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.

Will emissions based permits 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, public health objectives and the borough’s response to the climate emergency.

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 emissions 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.

What if my household has two electric vehicles?
There are no emissions based permits 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. However, the first vehicle would be free of charge.

What is the Council doing to support electric vehicle ownership?
The Council has expanded the availability of electric vehicle charging points across the borough by installing 80 on-street charging points, and announcing a further 60 lamp column charging units in November 2021, with many more to come in 2022. 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 emission permits?
As part of the review of our parking policies, we’ve sought to be fair in our approach. We have to finance the running of the Council’s Parking Service and it’s only fair that people who don’t have cars shouldn’t subsidise that.

We know that the majority of households in Newham, (52%), do not have access to a private vehicle. The charge for permits linked 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.

Does the Council just use these permits to make money?
The permits are aimed at improving air quality through the introduction of emissions based charging. The money raised is all reinvested in improving our roads and streets for the benefit of all residents. This includes funding services such as school crossing patrols, cycle hire, cycle lanes, road resurfacing, fixing potholes, air quality monitoring, road safety schemes, new pedestrian crossings, and traffic calming measures. The Council also funds the Freedom Pass, a concessionary travel scheme which provides free travel to residents of Greater London, England, who are aged 66 and over or who have a disability.

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 2 kilometres. 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 permits are 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 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.

It is also worth noting that our other initiatives, such as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, are also helping to deter “rat running” and through traffic through the borough which contributes to our efforts to tackle poor air quality.

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 have been impacted by the Ultra Low Emission Zone charges. How are your parking proposals going to impact my business?
Business permit charges are emissions based, with zero and hybrid emissions vehicles receiving free business permits and charges introduced for three further emission tiers.

Business permit charges are based on emission tiers with zero and hybrid emissions vehicles receiving free business permits.  The remaining business permits will fall under four tiers.

Where can I find the Council's parking policy document?
The parking policy document is available on the parking enforcement and policies page.