Short-stay parking charges set to triple for drivers in Lewisham in a bid to tackle climate crisis

By Grainne Cuffe, local democracy reporter

Some diesel drivers using short-stay parking in Lewisham will have to pay nearly triple from October, in a bid to tackle the climate crisis.

The council’s plans to introduce emission-based short-stay parking charges and to consult on charging motorcyclists for parking will go before the Mayor and cabinet on July 14.

If approved, council bosses expect to bring in £300,000 extra a year from the changes to short-stay parking for cars and vans.

The authority also wants to review its pay and display machines, with the aim of moving to a fully cashless system that would be accessed via an app or telephone number.

It says updating its current 66 machines, many of which are more than 15 years old and “beyond repair”, would cost £330,000.

Council documents state: “For the small number of people who still prefer to use cash to pay for their parking, or those without a smartphone, a number of pay points can be set up in shops within 100 metres of all pay and display locations.”

Who will pay more and how much?

Lewisham approved borough-wide emission-based parking charges in January 2020.

The new banded prices came into effect in April of that year and mean diesel drivers must pay up to £180 per year for permits, an increase of 150 per cent.

The bands range from electric vehicles in band 1 (zero emissions) to a Range Rover Sport 5.0 V8 Supercharged in band 13 256+CO2g/km.

An example of a vehicle that falls into band 1 is a Toyota Yaris Hybrid, band 2 a Mini Countryman, band 3 a VW Passat 2.0 TDI, band 4 a Mercedes C Class Saloon, and band 5 a Range Rover 4.4 Vogue.

Short-stay parking charges, which the council is aiming to introduce in October 2021, would follow the same banded system as borough-wide parking permits.

The current charge per hour in Lewisham is £2.

Band 1 cars would benefit from a drop in price at £1.50, band 2 will be charged £2, band 3 £2.50, band 4 £3, band 5 £3.50 and diesel drivers will have to pay an extra surcharge of £2.

This means if their car is in band 5, the cost for a diesel vehicle will increase by 175 per cent.

Mayor and cabinet are also set to approve a 12-week consultation from August on motorcycle short-stay parking charges, as well as introducing parking permits. Motorcyclists currently park for free in the borough.

Key stakeholders include businesses who use motorcycles such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat, Pizza Hut, and Dominos.

Parking permits and charges for motorcyclists, if approved, would also follow a banded system.

Short-stay parking charges would be the same as cars, except there would be no diesel surcharge as most motorcycles run on petrol.

Business permits would be more expensive than those for residents.

For example, a 12-month resident permit for the highest band would cost £125 and £625 for an all-zone business permit.

The council expects it will make £40,000 per year from introducing motorcycle permits and £45,000 from emission-based short-stay parking charges.

According to the report: “The next step is to introduce emission-based short-stay parking charges, for all motorists who park in short-stay parking bays.

“This way, we harmonise the permit and short-stay parking charges by ensuring that all charges are based on emissions, in an effort to improve air quality throughout the borough.” 



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