Wednesday, 25 August 2010

"Motorists offered bribe to give up parking permits in Brent"-Daily Telegraph 25 Aug. 2010



Whether you agree with this or not, here is something which may become a real pain or real pleasure in the future. The following is taken from today's Daily Telegraph.

The Labour-controlled authority is hoping that the incentive will persuade motorists to enroll in car clubs, whose members will be allowed to park free of charge. Under the proposals, motorists who give up the permit for two years will be given a £200 voucher, which can be used towards the cost of a bike, public transport or the subscription to a car-sharing scheme.

Brent wants to promote the scheme as “incentives for residents to reduce non-essential car use and contribute to combating climate change.” According to Cllr Jim Moher, the council cabinet member with responsibility for transport, the proposals are likely to appeal to people who want to help fight climate change. “It is very attractive for people who want to discard their car and help deal with a growing problem. “I would certainly consider it,” said Mr. Moher, a car owner himself. “I would have no problem towards contributing to this sort of thing.In some parts of the country, notably Brighton, residents can have to wait up to 12 months for a resident’s permit.

The council is also proposing to join the growing number of local authorities who vary permit charges according to the environmental friendliness of the car. A car emitting less than 110 grams of CO2 per kilometre will be issued with a free permit, while the heaviest polluting car – with an emissions rate of 255 grams of CO2 faces a £200 a year bill.

Brent’s plans come against a backdrop of councils trying to discourage car use by drawing up plans for higher parking charges. And, as disclosed by the Daily Telegraph, a number are considering imposing a charge for using staff car parks, following the example of Nottingham, which will impose a £250 a year levy – rising to £350 – for each space.

However, the council’s initiative was welcomed by both environmental and motoring groups.

“There is huge pressure on parking spaces. It’s good that it is being offered cash as an option rather than people being forced to surrender their permits. “Brent is showing a far more sympathetic approach than some other boroughs,” said an AA spokesman. Stephen Joseph, executive director of the Campaign for Better Transport, added: "That is very innovative and it will be interesting to see if other councils follow their lead. This is a carrot rather than a stick. In parts of London people are finding they can get by without a second family car and join car clubs instead “But it doesn’t work where there isn’t decent public transport.”

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