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Richmond Targets Gas-Guzzlers
- Borough to heap parking permit misery on high emission cars

Richmond Targets Gas-Guzzlers. (c) Transport for London 2005MOTORISTS in Richmond-Upon-Thames face big increases in their parking permit charges thanks to a council led initiative to influence global climate change.

The Liberal led London borough wants to target gas guzzlers and multi-car households. Drivers will be encouraged to switch to walking, cycling, electric vehicles and public transport.

The plan is to implement a sliding scale of seven charge bands based upon vehicles carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, from electric cars which are exempted, through to a 200% increase in permit fees for big cars such as 4x4s with CO2 emissions above 225 g/km. Second cars will be charged at 50% above the normal rate.

No one can accuse the council of lacking ambition. Despite their borough measuring a humble 57 square kilometres, a mere one ten millionth of the Earth's surface, they claim the tax-hike will contribute to stabilising world temperature. "By implementing a scheme to reduce CO2 emissions locally, Richmond upon Thames can make a positive impact on climate change nationally and globally" says the council in its proposal document.

Cllr Serge Lourie, council leader adds "We believe that there would be a 15% cut in emissions if everybody bought a car one band lower than they have at present."

"These proposals will be considered by our cabinet on 6 November, and we are committed to consulting widely with residents and local businesses in the coming months. I hope as many people as possible will consider the issues and let us have their views."

I am under no illusions that there will be strongly held views on both sides of the argument this is no easy win. However, we believe it is the right thing to do and, following consultation, it is our hope to be in a position to implement the proposals by the New Year."

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