Following a meeting of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee this week, Greens secured an amendment which will see charges for car club vehicles and low emissions vehicle parking permits frozen for the next year.
The decision was taken as part of a wider review of fees and charges for the city by the Labour-led Council, which saw 25% increases in parking fees in some areas. Changes will come into effect in April 2016.
Green councillor and spokesperson on environment, transport and sustainability Pete West said:
“We were delighted to get this amendment passed, which is crucial in order to further incentivise the use of low-emissions vehicles and the city car club. These initiatives are a key part of the solution for tackling congestion and lowering vehicle emissions in the city, where illegal levels of air quality are a major hazard to the health of city residents. It is important that we don’t penalise people who are trying to make a positive difference.
“With over 100 car club vehicles in the city, it’s really easy to hire a vehicle whenever you need it. The car club means residents can use public transport to get around the city, while still retaining the ability to travel further, all without the cost and hassle of owning a car. By reducing car ownership and promoting car-sharing we can ultimately reduce congestion and parking pressure, while the use of low-emissions vehicles reduces the harmful pollutants released by cars in the city.
“Although we ultimately encourage a modal shift towards more sustainable transport and greater use of walking and cycling, Greens are not “anti-car” as many like to suggest. We recognise that cars are a necessary option in certain circumstances. What we would like to see is far greater use of the car club scheme, as well as a significant shift by drivers towards low emissions vehicles. These fee freezes will hopefully help to send that message”.