Headlines: July 10th, 2007

MANCHESTER LEADS WAY WITH GREEN PARKING SCHEME

 

From today drivers of environmentally friendly vehicles will get discounts on parking fees in Manchester under an agreement between the City Council and NCP Manchester. The Green Badge Parking scheme is the first in the country.

Commuters who use low emission cars will be eligible for a 25 per cent reduction in the cost of an annual season ticket for all the main NCP car parks in Manchester city centre. Cars with emissions of less than 120g/km of carbon Dioxide and 0.02 of particulates will be entitled to the discount, which it is estimated could save some drivers more than 900 pounds a year.

Green Badge Parking is being launched following a recent survey, which showed that of almost 35,000 cars parked in Manchester, only 2.2 per cent were classed as low emission vehicles. It is hoped the groundbreaking scheme will encourage drivers to switch to lower emission petrol or diesel cars rather introducing measures that would simply penalise drivers of ‘gas guzzling’ cars. It is anticipated that the scheme will increase the number of drivers buying low-emission cars by between two and five per cent.

The City Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Neil Swannick said Manchester had committed itself to becoming the greenest city in Britain. The parking scheme was just one of the steps it was taking that would have a direct impact on climate change. “While using public transport is the best way to travel, we recognise that this isn’t practical for everyone and we have identified cheaper parking as a positive way to reward drivers that help cut emissions,” he said. The council hopes the city centre scheme will be the first of many across Greater Manchester and it is working with the ‘Manchester is my Planet’ campaign to share experience across the region.