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Borough plans to link parking fees to accessibility, NOx & CO2


Andrew Forster
03 April 2020

The London Borough of Merton has published proposals to revamp its parking charges so they are linked to accessibility and a vehicle’s carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. 

Under the Labour administration’s proposals, which have yet to go to consultation, the cost of a parking permit for residents (and other permit types) would feature three components:

  • an accessibility component based on the location’s public transport access level (PTAL) and the number of hours in the day that the controlled parking zone (CPZs) is enforced 
  • a vehicle’s CO2 emissions
  • a vehicle’s nitrogen oxide emissions, based on the criteria used for Transport for London’s ultra-low emission zone

The accessibility component of the permit charge has been operating since January and has three tiers. 

Tier one covers Wimbledon town centre. Here, the charge will be £150 where CPZs operate 12-14.5 hours a day; £120 for CPZs operating six to ten hours a day; and £110 for CPZs operating one to four hours a day. 

Tier two zones cover part of Colliers Wood, plus South Wimbledon, Raynes Park and Morden. Here the charges are £130, £110, and £100 depending on CPZ hours. 

Tier three zones covers Mitcham and part of Colliers Wood. Here the charges are £90, £80 and £70 depending on CPZ hours. 

In all zones 100 per cent electric vehicles only pay £20.

The carbon dioxide component of the permit charge will be based on the Government’s Vehicle Excise Duty bands, from A (lowest emissions) to M (highest). The vehicle’s band adjusts the accessibility-based permit fee. 

A vehicle in band G (111-130gCO2/km) would pay the standard rate of accessibility-based charges listed above. 

Vehicles in lower emission bands (A-F) would pay progressively less and vehicles above (H-M) progressively more. 

For instance, a vehicle in Band J (171-190gCO2/km) would pay £300 in a Wimbledon town centre CPZ with 12-14.5 hours of enforcement. At the very top, a vehicle in band M (over 255gCO2/km) would pay £540.

The third component of the charges is the NOx charge. This will replace Merton’s existing diesel surcharge.

The NOx charge uses the criteria of the ULEZ. A £150 charge will apply to all vehicles manufactured before 2006 (primarily rated Euro 1, 2 & 3s) and diesel vehicles registered between 2006 and September 2015 (Euro 4 and 5).

No NOx charge will apply to petrol vehicles registered between 2006 and September 2015, nor to Euro 6 diesel cars (manufactured since September 2015).

Merton also plans to introduce emission-based charging for pay-and-display on-street and council-owned car parks. A one-off charge of £1.50 will apply on top of the cost of each short-term parking session if a vehicle fails to comply with the ULEZ criteria.

For this to work, Merton must replace its current stock of pay & display machines as they are incapable of determining vehicle type.

The new machines will allow drivers to enter a vehicle registration number, with the machine calculating the fee. 

The council plans to reduce the number of machines from 450 to 100.

The current RingGo parking system, which is used by the majority of drivers, is already capable of charging a fee based on vehicle emissions. 

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