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Driving changes for a greener borough

The cleanest and greenest drivers in the borough will benefit from a range of new green transport measures after ambitious proposals to improve air quality and the health of residents was approved by Ealing Council’s cabinet this week (5 June).

A new transport strategy will see changes to how residents are charged for controlled parking zones (CPZ) permits. Reduced prices will be offered for environmentally-friendly cars and charges for polluting vehicles will increase.

It also gives the green light for the introduction of more electric vehicle charge points across the borough to support electric car drivers and those thinking of switching to this more sustainable mode of transport.

Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of almost 9,500 Londoners each year, which is why the council is taking proactive steps to tackle the problem on a local level.

Cheaper prices for CPZ parking permits will be offered for owners of the most environmentally-friendly vehicles. This is based on factors such as the type of fuel the car uses and the amount of carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emitted, in addition to how many vehicles are registered at a given address.

It means that the cheapest permit for an electric vehicle could be just £20 – a reduction of almost two thirds of the current price.

The majority of the borough’s 27,700 CPZ permit holders own one vehicle, and most of these use petrol. A resident of an all-day CPZ, driving one car with a smaller petrol engine could also see their annual fee reduced to just £75. But, for owners of polluting cars, charges would rise with new prices based on vehicle emission levels and the numbers of cars in a household.

Other London boroughs have already introduced similar surcharges for older, high polluting, diesel engines. By taking this action, councils hope that residents will switch to more environmentally-friendly cars and reduce the number of cars per household.

There are already 40 electric car charge points available across the borough. New points are to be installed in areas easily accessible for local drivers such as stations, car parks and taxi ranks.

Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council said: “We know that air pollution contributes to the early deaths of almost 9,500 Londoners every single year. This is why we are taking strong action and encouraging residents to make sustainable travel choices which will ultimately save lives. Air pollution is a huge problem across the country and we need people to recognise that diesel vehicles are killing people prematurely.

“We are introducing additional charging points for electric cars – which will make it even easier to ditch older, high polluting vehicles and avoid increased parking charges under this proposed transport strategy.

“There are likely to be up to 11,500 electric cars on Ealing’s roads by 2025 and by 2040, electric cars will comprise of up to 54% of total sales. We are determined to put Ealing at the forefront of this move towards this greener future.”

Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways said: “This new transport strategy will see a reduction in parking charges for local people using the most environmentally-friendly vehicles.  The new system encourages others to consider the greenest option when choosing which car they drive in the future, which will benefit everyone in the borough.”

“Local people can make a big difference by switching to electric cars, walking, cycling or public transport, especially for short journeys, it will help to reduce the levels of pollution, particularly in our town centres.”

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