Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tax parked cars to improve air quality?

A fairly significant report has been leaked (on purpose I have to presume?) to the Scotsman this morning ... it concerns the potential use of differential charges for parking permits across the city.

Unfortunately the actual report, which is going to the Transport Committee next Tuesday (29th July), has not yet been made publicly available and has not yet been discussed within the Council.

Not a great start in trying to reach any sort of consensus on such a contentious issue :-(

The principle of what's being suggested does deserve investigation, but without access to the details of the report, its almost impossible to conclude whether what's being proposed is sensible, fair or reasonable?

One thing does stand out, even from the leaked proposals, and that's the issue of air quality. One justification for the proposals seems to be that we need to take this 'type' of action to help meet air quality targets?

It is true that the city faces tough EU targets for air quality, the first of which become mandatory in 2010 - and that deadline isn't far away now! But, I fail to see how these proposals will have any radical impact on air quality - 'commuting' vehicles are the challenge here, and not 'residential' vehicles.

And will there be any consultation on the proposals ... nothing in the coverage of the leaked report confirms or denies this issue? Frankly, it would be unacceptable to proceed without a full (local) public debate about what's being put forward here ...

P.S. I'll put a link up to the report as soon as it becomes available on the Council site.

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