Residents 'back' extra charges for gas guzzlers
Groundbreaking proposals to charge those with gas-guzzling cars more to park outside their homes are to be pursued after a council consultation revealed almost half of residents support the idea.
In October Richmond upon Thames Council announced a plan to charge residents who live in controlled parking zones more to park if their cars produced high CO2 emissions and less if they produced low emissions and 3,500 residents and 1,500 businesses were consulted.
Results have now been collated and the council have announced 49 per cent of respondents supported the plans and 39 per cent were opposed to them.
The consultation also revealed 64 per cent of residents said that the plans would make them think about changing their vehicle to a less polluting model with only 31 per cent saying it would not change their future behaviour.
Coun Serge Lourie, leader of Richmond council, said he was delighted with the results, which indicated a clear majority in favour of the scheme.
"I am particularly encouraged by the fact that 64 per cent have indicated that they would be prepared to take practical action and switch to a less polluting vehicle, this is hugely significant," he continued.
"If policies like this are to have a real effect in the long term then everyone must adopt them. And I hope that Richmond upon Thames can lead the way."Coun Serge Lourie
"These proposals were always going to spark a fierce debate; we have never had any illusions about that fact. We brought them forward because we believe that they are the right thing to do. We never expected they would be universally popular.
"Climate change is the single most important issue facing our world today. Our proposed CO2 charging scheme has always been about much more than Richmond upon Thames. We said from the very outset that we hoped to provide a national lead that other authorities would follow.
"We have since been hugely encouraged by indications from other authorities and the Mayor of London, that they intend to introduce similar schemes. If policies like this are to have a real effect in the long term then everyone must adopt them. And I hope that Richmond upon Thames can lead the way."
The council's environment overview and scrutiny committee will consider the results of the consultation next Wednesday, January 24, and the council's executive is set to make a final decision on January 29.
Coun Lourie added that if necessary support was received the new rules were expected to be in place within three months.
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