EXECUTIVE 30 JULY 2012 DISCOUNTS FOR LOW EMISSION VEHICLES RESIDENT PARKING PERMITS AND OFF-STREET SEASON TICKETS

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1 Item. 5 EXECUTIVE 30 JULY 2012 SUBJECT: REPORT BY: LEAD OFFICER: DISCOUNTS FOR LOW EMISSION VEHICLES RESIDENT PARKING PERMITS AND OFF-STREET SEASON TICKETS JOHN BIBBY DIRECTOR OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES ROD WILLIAMSON TEAM LEADER CITY SERVICES 1. Purpose of Report 1.1 To propose the introduction of concessions on parking charges for low emission vehicles in respect of Resident Parking Permits and Season Ticket purchases for the Council s off-street car parks. 2. Executive Summary 2.1 One of the Council s 5 strategic priorities is to reduce Lincoln s carbon footprint by providing community leadership and leading a drive to reduce the City s overall carbon footprint. This report recommends the introduction of lower parking charges for Resident Parking Permits and Season Tickets in the Council s offstreet car parks to encourage use of vehicles cleaner, greener vehicles with lower levels of CO2 emissions. 2.2 It is proposed that the Driver & Vehicles Licensing Agency (DVLA) categorisations for CO2 emissions from vehicles be used to identify vehicles that have recognised low emissions. 2.3 The DVLA system designates vehicles according to the levels of engine emissions, and it is suggested that vehicles in DVLA bands A to C should qualify for a discount on the cost of Resident Parking Permits and Season Ticket purchases for City Council off street car parks. 2.4 The reduction recommended on Resident Parking Permits for eligible vehicles is 50% (estimated cost of 3, pa). 2.5 The reduction recommended on Annual Season Tickets is 75 for eligible vehicles (current estimated cost 450 pa). 2.6 These concessions are recommended as being a figure that is considered will be attractive in marketing terms, but manageable in terms of costs in the light of the Council s Medium Term Financial Strategy.

2 3. Background 3.1 In line with Council s strategic priority of reducing Lincoln s carbon footprint this proposal is intended to encourage car users to switch to less polluting vehicles. The move to cleaner energy vehicles will help to improve local air quality in the city and to mitigate the impact of CO2 emissions on global warming. 3.2 Two areas where the Council charge motorists for parking services have been identified as suitable for offering discounts to encourage the use of low emission vehicles: Resident Parking permits; and Annual Season Tickets for the Council s off-street car parks. It is not possible at this stage to introduce concessions for individual session charges in the Council s off-street car parks because of the complexities in identification of eligible vehicles and related enforcement issues and the need to introduce changes to the ticketing machines. 3.3 For discounts to be given to vehicles there needs to be an easily workable, robust and reliable system for identifying the level of CO2 emissions in each vehicle. The system used by DVLA has been adopted nationally for both vehicle excise duty (VED) and for company car tax purposes and is considered to provide a recognisable basis for any concessionary scheme the Council may introduce. 3.4 In respect of the DVLA rates of vehicle tax, for vehicles registered on or after 1 March 2001, the following 3 bands are currently identified as the low emission categories and receive the lowest charges in terms of VED and company car tax: Band CO2 emission figure (g/km) Band A Up to 100 Band B 101 to 110 Band C 111 to Resident Parking Scheme Permits are only issued following production by the customer of the vehicle registration document which sets out the VED tax banding. The requirement to see a vehicle registration document only applies where a permit is requested for a single registration number and it is not possible therefore to introduce a scheme at this stage for Visitor Permits and certain Business Permits as in these cases the applicant cannot in every case confirm which vehicles might make use of the Pass and what level of VED Banding/ CO2 emissions the vehicle may have. 3.6 Annual Season Tickets for the Council s off-street car parks also require the customer to provide details of the vehicle registration document when applying for a season ticket. 3.7 Figures obtained from the Department for Transport show that in 2011 only 7.5% of vehicles licensed for the road in the UK were within the low emission bands of A to C. However comparing this with percentage totals from years 2009 and 2010 it

3 does show that the trend for low emission vehicles as a proportion of the overall number of vehicles is growing: Year Total cars licensed Band A Band B Band C Percentage g/km g/km g/km Totals ,246,470 21, % 305, % 780, % 3.9% ,420,877 56, % 439, % 1,091, % 5.6% ,467, , % 631, % 1,386, % 7.5% 3.8 The Council currently has no data on the percentage of low emission vehicles using its car parks but has no reason to believe that the above figures would not be representative. 4. The Proposals 4.1 Resident Parking Permits To offer a 50% discount on all Resident Parking Permits at time of purchase, when applying for a Permit for a vehicle falling within the Bands of A to C for CO2 emissions, registered on or after 1 March First permit cost 26 reduced by 50% to 13 Second permit cost 52 reduced by 50% to Season Tickets in off-street car parks To offer a 75 reduction against the standard season ticket charge at the time of purchase when applying for a Season Ticket for a vehicle falling within the Bands of A to C for CO2 emissions, registered on or after 1 March For example a season ticket at 620 pa would be reduced to 545. a season ticket at 760 pa would be reduced to 685. This concession would also give the Council a significant marketing tool in the ongoing efforts to retain and grow season ticket income against competition from private car park operators in the city. 5. Significant Policy Impacts 5.1 (i) Reducing Lincoln s carbon footprint: This policy initiative will support the Council s strategic objective of reducing the city s carbon footprint and was heralded in the Council s Strategic Plan Delivery Programme ( ). 5.2 (ii) Developing a fit for purpose Council: Whilst the granting of concessionary parking charges will militate against the strategic objective of maximising income from fee earning operations the level of reduced car park income is small and likely to remain so until the popularity of electric and other low emission vehicles increases over time.

4 6. Organisational Impacts (i) Finance 6.1 Residents Permit Discount During 2011 the value of permits sold which were based on a vehicle registration came to 61,646. Assuming that 10% of vehicles (to allow for anticipated future growth to cleaner engines) are likely to fall within DVLA bands A to C then this would result in a potential reduction of income of up to 3, Season Ticket Discount During 2011 there were 58 annual season tickets sold registered to one vehicle. Assuming that 10% of vehicles (to allow for anticipated future growth to cleaner engines) are likely to fall within DVLA bands A to C, then this would result in a potential loss of income of up to 450. This could increase if customers who currently register 2 or 3 vehicles against the Season Ticket decide to revert to registering 1 low emission vehicle. 6.3 Officers consider that the above proposal will help to demonstrate the Council s community leadership by promoting a change in car usage to low emission vehicles, whilst also creating a potential marketing advantage against the commercial car park operators in the city. (ii) Legal Implications 6.4 There are no legal implications associated with the recommendations in this report (iii) Equality and Human Rights 6.5 An equality impact and human rights assessment is attached to this report. The recommendations in the report are not considered to have any significant negative impact. 7. Risk Implications 7.1 Adopting the proposals could lead to demands that the Council should be offering larger discounts or discounts for other fee earning operations. 8. Recommendation 8.1 Executive is recommended to approve a concessionary discount on Resident Permits and Car Park Season Tickets for designated low emission vehicles as set out below: Resident Parking Permits To offer a 50% discount on all Resident Parking Permits at time of purchase, when

5 applying for a vehicle registration which falls within the DVLA Bands of A to C for CO2 emissions, registered on or after 1 March First permit cost 26 reduced by 50 % to 13 Second permit cost 52 reduced by 50% to 26 (incl. HIMO and Businesses) Season Tickets in off-street car parks To offer a 75 reduction against the standard season ticket charge at the time of purchase when applying for a Season Ticket for a vehicle falling within the Bands of A to C for CO2 emissions, registered on or after 1 March That the potential reduction in annual car park fee income be noted and the recommended revised concessionary fees & charges be referred to Council for approval. Key Decision Do the Exempt Information Categories Apply Call in and Urgency: Is the decision one to which Rule 15 of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules apply? Does the report contain Appendices? Lead Officer: Rod Williamson Team Leader City Services Telephone:

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