Croydon’s green parking charges would ‘penalise the elderly and low income residents’

Parking in Croydon. Pic: Vicky Lo-Chi Tseng

Vehicles that aren’t deemed to be environmentally friendly could pay triple the amount of their current yearly permit following new green parking charges that have been proposed in Croydon.

The scheme would see different parking charges for vehicles depending on how much CO2 they produce per kilometre if the consultations are successful, with some drivers only paying £6.50 for an annual resident’s parking permit.

But critics say the plans will unfairly punish the majority of Croydon’s citizens, particularly owners of diesel vehicles built before 2001, who would see the cost of their yearly permit rise from £80 to £300.

Mario Creatura, Conservative councillor and critic of the proposals, told Eastlondonlines: “This policy will be a tax that penalises the elderly and low income residents who can’t afford to buy a new vehicle and is a tax on small businesses that rely on their vehicles to trade.

“There are a number of ways to improve the environment and encourage our citizens to take part in this process which do not involve making the yearly permit unpayable to most people in the borough.”

A survey for the Local Implementation Plan in September 2018 found nearly 75 per cent of respondents were concerned about air quality in the borough.

Only electric and the lowest-emitting cars would be exempt from rising costs, meaning the majority of drivers would have to pay more.

Councillor Stuart King, cabinet lead for environment and transport, told Eastlondonlines: “Applying a Polluter Pays model is one of a number of ways we are trying to encourage people to make more environmentally friendly journey choices.

“In this case, we are offering up to a 90 per cent discount for parking permits for the lowest emission vehicles.

“We are working hard to make Croydon London’s greenest borough, and reducing air pollution is at the heart of that challenge.”

The new model would be introduced in three stages if the consultation is successful.

The first round would see the model introduced for residents’ parking permits later this year.

Business and all other permits would be introduced in 2020 and on and off street parking restrictions could be introduced the year after.

A formal public consultation on the changes to residents’ parking permits and business permits is currently active and runs until June 20 this year.

A separate consultation around on and off street changes would take place at a later date which is yet to be confirmed.

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