Brighton & Hove council has tabled plans to alter parking charges for residents and businesses in parts of the city, in a move that is intended to benefit air quality.
Changes to parking tariffs will be considered at a meeting of the city councilâ€™s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee next week (23 January), when councillors will decide on proposed changes to a number of on-street, off-street and resident permit charges.
According to the city council, six of the more than 230 separate parking tariffs set by the authority are in line for an increase â€“ with proposals designed to control high-demand areas and times to address air pollution and congestion concerns.
The main change highlighted by the council is that drivers visiting residents in busy central areas will pay more â€“ with an increase for visitor permits from Â£3.50 to Â£4.50 in two central zones.
Brighton & Hove council is also to reduce the banding of a 50% discount available based on vehicle emissions across all of its parking charge tariffs.
At present, residents and traders using vehicles which emit less than 110g/km of CO2 are eligible for the discount. However, the council is proposing to tighten this to under 100g/km â€“ which would encompass some of the best-performing low emission vehicles. No diesel vehicles are able to qualify for the low emission discount.
It is also proposed to include a 25% increase for vehicles over 166g/km of CO2 for resident, traders and business permits.
Reports published ahead of the meeting state that improving air quality is a â€œkey traffic management objectiveâ€ within the city.
The measure is designed to complement the cityâ€™s Low Emission Zone, which came into effect in 2015, and requires buses operating in some parts of the city to meet the Euro V emission standard in order to be eligible to operate (see airqualitynews.com story). Other measures implemented by the council in recent months include the installation of anti-idling signs advising drivers to switch off their engines in polluted areas (see airqualitynews.com story).
The report adds: â€œIn some parts of Brighton & Hove, levels of nitrogen oxides exceed legal limits. As part of a range of measures to improve air quality, such as the introduction of a Low Emission Zone, parking charges can help to encourage less polluting travel options and reduce emissions.â€
Commenting ahead of the meeting next week, committee chair Cllr Gill Mitchell said: â€œParking charges were introduced to better manage scarce road and parking space â€“ and these few increases reflect that.Â Otherwise, available spaces would be occupied all day by the same vehicles and the roads would be jammed with cars looking for spaces.Â Parking prices remain fair given very high demand. All the money raised is spent on older peopleâ€™s bus passes and other measures to improve transport.â€
Brighton & Hove city council