Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Gas-guzzling drivers to pay more

Range Rover
Permit charges will almost double for some residents

Drivers of so-called "gas-guzzlers" will have to pay more to park their cars in Edinburgh from next year under new rules approved by the city council.

The scheme is the first in Scotland to use a sliding scale for residents' permits based on a car's CO2 rating.

Charges will almost double to 320 per year for the most polluting cars, while "greener" cars will pay 15.

It was widely supported in a public consultation, but opponents have questioned the impact on pollution.

Councillor Steve Burgess, Green Party environment spokesman, proposed the scheme which was approved by the Transport Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

He said: "I am delighted Edinburgh Council will now introduce this groundbreaking green initiative, the first of its kind in Scotland.

"It will help reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that are causing climate change. the council must seize every opportunity of this sort to show leadership in Scotland and to contribute to global efforts to cut the pollution.

Emission hotspots

Edinburgh City Council currently charges a flat rate of 160 for a centre permit and 80 for other zones.

Under the shake-up the less polluting cars would see charges fall to 30 in the centre and 15 in outer zones.

Conservative councillors argued that only one in five permit holders would pay more under the new system.

But 75% of respondents to a three-month public consultation backed the scheme.

Edinburgh City Council is committed to lowering CO2 emissions in hotspots across the city by 2010.

Although the new plans would mean it losing 50,000 per annum, it says it would be cheaper than European Union fines for not reaching CO2 emission targets.

Print Sponsor

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