In November I wrote about the failure of Hammersmith and Fulham Council to take action on reducing air pollution – which kills 72 residents of the Borough a year. I suggested that one way of doing this would be to following the example of Westminster Council and provide free parking permits for electric cars.
I emailed the Council as follows to chase them up:
“I understand that we charge a £60 annual parking permit for electric cars while Westminster Council charge nothing. Please advise if there are any plans to provide free annual parking permit for electric cars as an incentive to encourage them. Also I understand that at present electric cars are charged the full £1.80 an hour Smart Visitor Permit. Are there any plans to reduce or abolish this charge for electric cars?”
This morning came the following reply:
“Dear Councillor Phibbs,
A cabinet report recommending a change to the existing parking permit structure is currently being reviewed by cabinet members. At present this report has been to political cabinet and is due before Cabinet later this year.
We are currently in the process of upgrading our existing pay & display technology. This upgrade will give us a larger range of options in terms of pricing and vehicle classification. We are currently exploring options for pay & display policies that include different pricing based on emission.
Transport and Highways
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham”
So that is mildly encouraging but does lack a sense of urgency given the significant number of deaths involved. Surely the technical difficulties of giving a free parking permit to those with electric cars can’t be that challenging?
I have also asked put in the following query regarding bus lanes:
“Please advise if there would be any technical of legal reasons that would prevent us from allowing electric cars to be driven in bus lanes on our roads. If not please advise if we could allow this and thus provide an incentive for motorists to switch to electric cars and thus help reduce air pollution.”
Action on all these points would amount to a tangible incentive for motorists to switch vehicles and thus save lives. Let’s hope the Council gets a move on.