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Parking policy update – your questions answered

Parking policy update your questions answered

We’re proposing to launch a consultation to update our policy for the first time in five years to ensure it meets local needs.

The revised policy would help to make the borough greener by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. Our proposals feed into our Healthy Streets initiatives that will make it easier for residents to walk, cycle or use public transport. Having declared a climate emergency, we are determined to take the actions required to protect our planet.

Effective management of parking can have a positive impact by ensuring that:

  • spaces are used appropriately
  • local parking is dealt with in a fair and consistent way
  • drivers are encouraged to use less polluting vehicles.

We want to consult on a number of proposals to hear your views. This wouldn’t be limited to car owners and drivers – we are very keen to hear from:

  • pedestrians
  • cyclists
  • anyone else who is interested in this issue.

Why are we updating the parking policy now?

We introduced our current parking policy in 2014, with a directive to update it by 2019 to bring it in line with current legislation and best practice.

We are determined to use this opportunity to improve air quality across the borough. Air pollution is causing a public health crisis in London, with thousands of Londoners dying prematurely each year from long term exposure to air pollution. We know this is also an inequalities issue too, with those living in the most deprived areas exposed to higher levels of air pollution.

Private motor vehicles are a significant source of air pollution including 33% of NOx and 57% of PM10 (small particulate matter) in the borough. We now have the opportunity, through our parking policy, to introduce measures that will improve our air quality. Having recently declared a climate emergency at Full Council, our proposals would ensure that low emission vehicle owners will see charges reduce, while those who own the most polluting vehicles will pay the most.

Who would be affected by the new policy?

  • Resident car owners and drivers
  • Blue badge holders
  • Local business owners
  • Those who drive in to Lewisham to get to work.

If you would be affected and it’s very important that you have your say. But we also want to hear from residents who would like to have cleaner, less polluted environment to live, work, and learn.

What are the proposals?

There are six main proposals:

  • To introduce banded charging for resident and business parking permits based on vehicle CO2 emissions.
  • To introduce an additional surcharge to the cost of parking permits for diesel vehicles.
  • To provide 10 hours of free visitor parking credit to all households that currently have at least one paid annual resident parking permit. This will replace the free book of 10 one-hour visitor parking permits provided on request to households that currently have at least one paid annual resident parking permit.
  • To provide only mandatory, enforceable disabled parking bays, rather than advisory disabled parking bays. Advisory bays are unenforceable and anyone can park there without receiving a penalty.
  • To make changes to the application criteria for disabled parking bays based on assessment of medical need by a qualified person and also highway criteria under which a location would be assessed to determine if a disabled bay may be installed.
  • To amend the hourly rate for parking to £1.60 for both cash and cashless payments.

There is also a proposal on changes to the Penalty Charge Notice bands in Lewisham. This would be included in the consultation for information and you would be able to comment on it if you wish to.

Would parking permit charges increase?

The last increase to parking permit charges was in 2011. The new proposal would introduce charges for resident and business parking permits based on a vehicle’s CO2 emissions. As the vehicles would be banded in line with the Government’s car tax banding, there would be an increase for some, a reduction for others, and cases where the parking permit charge would remain the same.

Parking permits for disabled residents would continue to be free.

All parking permits for diesel vehicles would also be subject to a £50 surcharge.

What are the next steps?

We intend to undertake a compressive consultation over the summer lasting a minimum of six weeks.

We will analyse all consultation responses and review the draft report to reflect the results of the consultation. The draft report will then be reviewed by the Sustainable Development Select Committee in autumn. The draft report will then be reviewed again. A final report will be expected to go to Mayor and Cabinet in autumn/winter 2019.

Where can I view the proposed parking policy?

A draft of the proposed policy can be found online and at local libraries.

Read the full Parking Policy Update report.