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Have your say over resident parking charges

Bad new for local motorists -- Westminster City Council are proposing to increase charges for residents' parking permits (along with the charge for pay-to-park casual kerbside parking). They say the aim is four-fold: to reduce air pollution in Westminster as part of its ambition to meet its net zero emissions target by 2040; to introduce a fairer & more proportionate system whereby vehicles are charged in accordance with the level of emissions they produce; to accommodate the growing number of electric vehicles & the different range of hybrid vehicles; & to bring Westminster into line with many neighbouring boroughs who have already implemented emissions-based charging.

The intention is to bring in the new charging structure from 1st April but the plans have already provoked a backlash, with one resident pointing out that Westminster's air quality has in fact been improving steadily over the past eight years & also that an internal Cabinet report reveals that the changes will bring in £6.24m a year in extra reveneue, a fact not mentioned in the explantory email that went out to all resident permit-holders. This, she says, is yet another tax on the motorist who is being used by the Council as a "cash-cow to subsidise its inefficiencies".

To find out how the changes stand to affect you go to www.westminstertransportationservices.co.uk/ebc, which sets out banded charges based on vehicles' individual tailpipe emission levels of carbon dioxide.

The proposals are currently out for consultation until 14th February & Westminster "would greatly encourage" residents' participation, so you can make your views known -- possibly with both barrels -- on the same website.

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