A shake up of on-street parking arrangements is aimed at improving air quality and protecting public health, and will lead to reduced carbon emissions, say B&NES Lib Dems.
Residents parking charges will be set according to a sliding scale, with more polluting vehicles being charged a higher rate. Residents will also be able to spread the cost of a permit over the year rather than having to pay in a lump sum and Blue Badge holders will be entitled to a free residents permit. This is the first change to parking permit charges since 2013.
There will also be changes to hotel permits and updated arrangements for medical/social care permits, visitor and trade permits.
Cabinet member for Transport, Councillor Manda Rigby, said:
“The changes to on-street parking charges fit into the jigsaw of our other transport schemes to achieve better air quality for B&NES and make charging fairer. They affect everyone who lives, works or travels in the permit areas. We haven’t increased residents’ parking charges for eight years but through these charges we hope to lay the foundations for a shift away from higher-emission vehicles that contribute to poor air quality.”
B&NES deputy leader, Councillor Richard Samuel, commented:
“Air pollution is a public health issue affecting the most vulnerable in society. We know that residents want to see decisive action to clean up our toxic air. The Lib Dems were elected to deliver real improvements in air quality and in sustainability. This is a legal and moral necessity.
“The emissions-based permits are intended to change the way people think. The average cost increase will be £25, although some will see no change. The idea is this would be enough to nudge motorists towards lower emission vehicles but is not excessive, particularly compared to the overall cost of running a car.
“This scheme fits in with all the other actions the Lib Dems are taking to cut pollution and protect health, including the Bath Clean Air Zone, Liveable Neighbourhoods, schemes to enable modal shift, and supporting a ‘green’ recovery.”
City Centre Councillor, Sue Craig, added:
“The changes to hotel permit arrangements will be good news for city residents. Available kerb space will be rebalanced to benefit residents, and visitor permits will have to be used in car parks, apart from visitors who have a Blue Badge. This is more in line with what visitors to a World Heritage city would expect.
“It also reduces the administrative burden on hotels and creates a more efficient system which is less open to abuse. The administration is working hard to support the local economy recover from the pandemic, including the visitor economy. Bath is becoming a popular destination for British holidaymakers, who may be more likely to arrive by car. This change will ensure visitors are still able to have access to parking but will be much fairer to city centre residents.”