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Last Updated: Monday, 2 April 2007, 08:04 GMT 09:04 UK
Emissions-linked parking in force
Row of high performance vehicles
Almost 50% of residents were in favour of the scheme
A scheme charging drivers for residents' parking permits according to the level of their car emissions has come into force in a London borough.

Owners of high carbon dioxide-emitting vehicles in Richmond, south-west London, will now pay up to three times the normal residential parking fees.

A family with two such cars could pay up to 750 a year.

Opponents said the scheme contradicts the parking permit system which was designed to protect residents.

In a council survey 47% of residents voted for the scheme and 39% voted against. The remainder were undecided.

Carbon footprint

Richmond council leader Serge Lourie said he was happy to be putting this "ground-breaking" scheme in place.

He said: "We only made our decision to go ahead with the principle of the scheme at the end of January after we had consulted local residents and the proposals had been debated by a number of council committees."

Councillor David Trigg, cabinet member for traffic, transport and parking, said the policy would make a difference.

"We want to encourage all residents in our borough to consider how they can reduce their carbon footprints in whatever way they are able. And switching to a car with lower emissions is one way to do that.

"Our proposal has already sparked real debate in our borough and nationally," he said.

Automobile Association (AA) spokesman Paul Watters previously said the move was an attack on families and a "tax-raising exercise".

"Many of these cars are large family estates and people carriers needed to get children to school, leisure activities and journey out of town," he said.


SEE ALSO
Higher parking charges 'unfair'
30 Jan 07 |  London
Higher parking charges approved
24 Jan 07 |  London
Parking hike for polluting cars
05 Jan 07 |  London

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