Council car park’s 130 different fees leave motorists baffled

Council car park’s 130 different fees leave motorists baffled
Drivers have reacted with bemusement to a council car park that has 130 different pricing options.

The rates are designed to reflect how much CO2 a car emits, but tariffs range from 38p for a 15-minute stay to £38.75 for more than six hours.

Motorists are being asked to calculate the cost of parking based on their car’s Euro 6 emissions standards, along with which tax band their vehicle falls into and the length of their stay.

The baffling pricing strategy was highlighted by broadcaster Danny Baker, 64, who tweeted a picture of a sign of the tariffs at a car park in Blackheath, south-east London.

He told his online followers: “Went to park up today in the same little car park I’ve used near me for 25 years. Excited to see the council have introduced a streamlined E-Z new pay system that in no way suggests they have too much time on their hands these days.”

Several Twitter users echoed the thoughts of the outspoken comedy writer and presenter, expressing their bewilderment about the rules.

@GrahamCope1 said of the list of charges: “Well that's clear as mud. Seriously, who knows the grading of their own car as suggested?”

Meanwhile, @africanhopkins added: “I bet the area is full of Band 1, Euro 6 compliant vehicles. Whatever they are. Probably skateboards.”

Others were puzzled as to why cars should be charged more based on their emission levels when their engines aren’t even on while they’re parked. 

The news came after the RAC welcomed a new code of practice for private parking firms following years of campaigning for a fairer system for drivers.

Lewisham councillor Patrick Codd said the aim of the scheme is to encourage more people to walk, cycle and use public transport to cut vehicle emissions in the borough.

“The introduction of short stay emissions-based parking means all our parking charges will be based on levels of pollution from vehicles,” he added.

European emissions standards were first introduced in 1993 with Euro 1 requirements set out for reducing the environmental impact of new cars.

The latest standard is Euro 6, and new cars must meet this before they go on sale in Europe. It’s expected that Euro 7 standards could come into force in 2025.

Vehicles that meet Euro 6 standards are charged much lower tax rates than those emitting more CO2 per kilometre.

As more Clean Air Zones begin to sprout up in towns and cities such as Oxford, Bath and Bristol to cut traffic pollution, parking charges based on emissions could be a sign of things to come.

Read: MOT fail: Drivers wrongly believe test pass guarantees safety

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