London City Corporation launches capital’s low-emission parking tariff

The City of London Corporation has announced that it will launch what it claims is the capital's first "environmentally-friendly" parking tariff, offering discounted parking rates for electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid drivers in a bid to incentivise sustainable travel.

The scheme will apply to on-street parking within the Square Mile commercial and financial district when it launches next Monday (August 20). Drivers who park petrol vehicles registered post-2005 or diesel vehicles registered post-2015 will be charged £1.20 more per hour than those who park EVs.

Meanwhile, motorists with petrol vehicles registered before 2005 or diesel vehicles registered before 2015 will be charged £6.80 per hour – substantially higher than the low-emission vehicle rate of £4.

City of London Corporation’s planning and transport committee chairman, Chris Hayward, said the tariff will incentivise motorists to travel more sustainably, leading to improvements in air quality within the Square Mile.

“We have seen other areas of London penalise worst offenders such as diesel cars,” Hayward explained.  “We are taking this one step further by not only applying punitive measures for these worst offenders but by supporting and encouraging motorists to consider other modes of transport and switch to cleaner vehicles in the future.”

Payment for the tariff bands, which will operate between 8am and 7pm on weekdays, will be collected through software firm RingGo’s cashless payment app. Using an Emissions Based Parking product, RingGo will automatically assess the type of vehicle being parked and charge tariffs based on its fuel type and registration date.  

Although RingGo’s product is being used elsewhere in London, City of London Corporation claims the scheme is the first which will offer differing charges based on the level of pollution emitted by the vehicle.

Low-emission transition

The scheme is the latest in a long list of the Corporation’s combative measures against London’s air pollution levels, which breached annual limits in certain streets five days into 2017. 

Last year, the “toughest” emission standard of any world city entered into force in the capital. Since then, the Corporation has launched a scheme giving businesses operating within certain Congestion Charge zones access to cargo bikes to avoid extra costs. Run in partnership with zero-emission delivery operators Zedify, the scheme aims to replace deliveries from diesel and petrol vans with those made by electric-asset bikes and trikes.

To date, the Corporation has additionally installed 30 EV chargers across the Barbican estate and has banned the purchase of diesel vehicles from its own fleet of 300 vehicles as it seeks to invest in hybrid and fully-electric alternatives.

The moves form part of the Corporation’s outline for a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN), which is jointly funded by the Mayor of London. Plans for LEN include new electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, green taxi ranks and air quality projects in the Barbican and Golden Lane Estate areas.

Sarah George 

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