Emissions-based charging plans for parking halted

Merton Council is proposing to halt plans to introduce an emissions-based charging scheme for controlled parking zones in the borough.

The scheme was due to come into effect from October, implementing a sliding scale of parking charges based on the type of car, its emissions and proximity to local transport hubs.

However, the council’s Cabinet will consider halting the scheme at its meeting in October in light of the impact of the pandemic and the shift already being seen towards low-pollution vehicles.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Councillor Rebecca Lanning said: “After considering carefully the views of residents as the pandemic has moved on, we have decided not to go ahead with emissions-based parking charges.

“Merton residents have had a hard time during the pandemic and, with thousands still struggling to make ends meet, we recognise that increased charges would have impacted on residents who have been furloughed or made redundant.

“Too many families are now facing a cut to universal credit, a hike in energy costs this winter, plus a substantial rise in National Insurance contributions in the spring. We don’t want to add to this burden.  

“We also recognise that even without increasing prices there has already been a noticeable switch to lower polluting vehicles.

“Ultimately, we want residents to drive less and the pandemic has helped make this shift. However, it wouldn’t be right to implement emissions-based parking charges at a time when some people still remain cautious about using public transport.   

“We appreciate that through traffic and commercial vehicles are key contributing factors to poor air quality in Merton, and as we cannot tackle these alone we will continue to work with other local authorities across London as a whole.”

Cllr Rebecca Lanning is available for interview via the council Press Office via communications@merton.gov.uk