Council’s proposed parking charge hikes dubbed ‘attack on key workers’ by opposition

A Labour-run council’s proposed parking permit hikes have been described as an “attack” on key workers by its Liberal Democrat opposition.

Lambeth council has proposed further emissions-based charges for parking permits, as part of ongoing efforts to improve air quality, but the Lib Dems have said the changes will hit teachers, doctors and small businesses hardest.

Fees for resident parking permits, personal carer permits, on-street and car park charges will increase by between 6.7 per cent and 15.7 per cent this year.

The price of a teacher’s parking permit is increasing by 35 per cent, from £435.44 to £587.89.

A teacher with an average-emission vehicle who has both a teacher parking permit and a resident parking permit will see their annual charges increase by 45 per cent in just 12 months.

Cllr Donna Harris, leader of Lambeth Lib Dems, said the changes will hit teachers, doctors and small businesses hardest (Picture: Cllr Donna Harris)

The changes also mean a doctor parking permit will go up by 32 per cent from £536.68 to £711.07, which is twice as much as residents who pay £305.11 for a resident parking permit.

In comparison, in Westminster permit prices for teachers and doctors cost £120 and £148 respectively.

According to the Lambeth Lib Dems, the council will profit £1,050,494 per year from the changes.

The council has said any extra revenue generated from the changes would be invested in helping fund public transport services, highway maintenance and environmental projects.

A quarter of carbon emissions in Lambeth come from road transport, and the council says “big changes” need to be made to tackle the issue over the next seven years.

Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, Lambeth council deputy leader and Cabinet Member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, said: “These changes look to make our parking fees fairer and more reflective of the different levels of pollution produced by vehicles – and ensure those who pollute the most are charged the most to park.”

A quarter of carbon emissions in Lambeth come from road transport (Picture: Lambeth council)

But the Lib Dems argue there is an  “absence of evidence” that further price increases will reduce pollution.

Cllr Donna Harris, leader of Lambeth Lib Dems, said: “These changes set a precedent for extraordinary annual price hikes which prevent residents from planning for the future – that’s why the Lib Dems are calling for a 3-year price freeze.

“We fully support emissions-based charging, however the council is not providing enough support to enable residents to make the modal shift away from fossil fuel vehicles.”

Lambeth’s Changes to Parking Charges 2024 consultation ended today after opening to the public in late January.

Pictured top: Cllr Donna Harris, leader of Lambeth Lib Dems, said the charges will ‘set a precedent’ for annual price hikes (Picture: Cllr Donna Harris, Lambeth council)

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