Cambridge city council has announced plans to incentivise drivers not to use city centre car parks during peak times, in a bid to reduce congestion and address air pollution.
The council is consulting businesses, residents, car park users and other interested parties on proposals for its off-street parking policy for 2018-19.
This includes the potential introduction of a ‘Peak Time Congestion Trial’ for a period of 12 months.
The tariff is designed to reduce the number of vehicles using city centre multi-storey car parks during the peak hours of 8am to 10am and into the less busy periods of the day.
Parking between these times will attract an additional tariff of 50p per hour for every hour they stay.
Drivers will instead be encouraged to use Park and Ride sites, which will be free to use during these hours.
Comments received on the proposals will be considered by Councillor Kevin Blencowe, executive councillor for planning and transport who will recommend amendments if necessary before any changes are introduced next year.
Councillor Blencowe said: “We believe these proposals will offer a fair pricing structure, while helping to reduce congestion and improve air quality in the city.
“We have shown from our recent investment and refurbishment programme that we are committed to providing customers with an excellent service at our car parks, but we have to balance this with longer term considerations for tackling congestion and air quality as Cambridge grows.â€?
Other councils, particularly in London, have looked at changes to residential parking policies in a bid to encourage drivers to use less polluting vehicles.
Lambeth council is among the latest authorities to target diesel drivers with increased parking costs in the capital.
At a meeting next week (7 November) councillors will decide on plans to introduce a £40 a year diesel surcharge for vehicles that are not compliant with the Euro 6 Emission standard on parking permits for residents within the borough.
Similar measures are being considered in Edinburgh, were the city council has launched a three month consultation on a surcharge to “improve air quality and enhance quality of lifeâ€? (see airqualitynews.com story).