Parking never seemed so complicated.
RAC’s Drive website has picked up this story from Twitter.

Plenty of choice

A council car park has reorganised its parking charges and has 130 different pricing options.

The rates are designed to reflect how much CO2 a car emits. This means that tariffs range from 38p for a 15-minute stay to £38.75 for more than six hours.

Motorists are being asked to calculate the cost of parking based on their car’s Euro 6 emissions standards. This is con. fusing enough for most motorists, but you also need your vehicle tax band.  Of course, the traditional ‘length of stay’ request finalises the calculation.

Away with the birds?

The baffling pricing strategy was highlighted by broadcaster Danny Baker, 64. He

tweeted a picture of a sign of the tariffs at a car park in Blackheath, south-east London.

Posting to his online followers, he says: “Went to park up today in the same little car park I’ve used near me for 25 years. Excited to see the council have introduced a streamlined E-Z new pay system that in no way suggests they have too much time on their hands these days.”

Several Twitter users echoed the thoughts and expressing their bewilderment about the rules.

@GrahamCope1: “Well that’s clear as mud. Seriously, who knows the grading of their own car as suggested?”

@africanhopkins: “I bet the area is full of Band 1, Euro 6 compliant vehicles. Whatever they are. Probably skateboards.”

Switched on or off

Others were puzzled as to why cars should be charged more based on their emission levels. When parked, the engines aren’t running!

The news came after the RAC welcomed a new code of practice for private parking firms. This follows years of campaigning for a fairer system for drivers and clampdown on aggressive parking enforcement measures.

Lewisham councillor Patrick Codd says the new charging scheme at the car park is to encourage healthier planning. The charges aim to encourage more people to walk, cycle and use public transport to cut vehicle emissions in the borough. It also highlights the need to be aware of vehicle emissions when buying and owning vehicles, and their effect on the local and global environments.

Codd adds that “the introduction of short stay emissions-based parking means all our parking charges will be based on levels of pollution from vehicles”

The standards

European emissions standards were first introduced in 1993 with Euro 1 requirements. The idea is to reduce the environmental impact of new cars.

The latest standard is Euro 6, and new cars must meet this before they go on sale in Europe. It’s expected that Euro 7 standards could come into force in 2025.

Vehicles that meet Euro 6 standards are charged much lower tax rates than those emitting more CO2 per kilometre.

With Clean Air Zones sprouting up in towns and cities such as Oxford, Bath and Bristol, parking charges based on emissions could be a sign of things to com.