A Surrey council is to charge parents up to £75 to park outside schools for 15 minutes while they drop off and collect.
Parents living in an affluent part of Surrey have received a further blow from their local council. The Borough of Richmond already charges residents for parking permits according to their cars’ CO2 emissions. Vehicles in the highest band, which pump out over 225g/km of carbon dioxide, pay £450 a year to park in the street outside their homes. That was three times what owners had previously paid.
Now the council is to charge parents up to £75 a year for the privilege of stopping outside schools while they drop off and collect their children. From September, drivers will need permits to stop outside 13 of the borough’s schools. Cllr David Trigg, Richmond’s Cabinet Member for Traffic, Transport and Parking, said that at present the schools gave parents permits allowing them to park for 10 minutes on yellow lines outside the schools or in nearby residents’ bays. ‘The system had become unsustainable,’ he said. ‘One school, for example, issued 150 permits for just 14 spaces. The school has 94 pupils.’
The amount parents will pay depends on the cars they drive. Only the very greenest cars qualify for free permits: those emitting 99g/km CO2 or less. Currently only three just-launched small cars, from Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat, would qualify. Everyone else, including drivers of such green vehicles as the Toyota Prius, would pay at least £12.50 a year. Mums and dads running a seven-seater such as a Renault Grand Scenic would pay at least £22.50. Anyone driving a full-sized off-roader, such as a Land Rover Discovery, will pay the full £75.
Cllr Trigg said the move was intended to improve road safety, reduce car use on the ‘school run’ and to keep parking bays around school free for those living nearby.
At present, the schools affected are within the council’s controlled parking zones. It’s possible that the charges may soon extend to every school locally.