The latest attack on car ownership by Bath city council is to impose parking charges based on how old the car is.
Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) Council has introduced what it describes as 'emissions-based parking charges' in car parks across the city. This is the latest stage in Bath's 15 minute city agenda, actively targeting those who can least afford a new car, overwhelmingly the poorest people in the county.
Unlike London's ULEZ scheme which bases its vehicle’s compliance on Euro emission standards, BANES Council will be basing its tariffs on the same bands the DVLA uses for vehicle excise duty to ensure it targets those it wants to price off the road, those that can least afford a new car.
In it's statement the council claim that 'drivers of non-diesel vehicles which emit less than 131g/km of CO2 will only have to pay the standard rate to park, while those who own diesel cars, or petrol models which emit more than 131g/km of CO2, will have to pay an additional fee.'
Campaigners have noted that, the 'good' car doesn't get a discount, they just pay the standard parking charge, it is the owner of the older car who has to pay an even more absorbitant premium for merely owning it, ironically studies have shown those are overwhelmingly the ones least able to afford it.
Proudly commenting on the new emissions-based parking charges, Cabinet Member for Transport Councillor Manda Rigby said: “Prices won’t change for a lot of drivers, these[sic] new charges will only affect people bringing more polluting vehicles into our city."
“Our overall aim is to improve public safety by improving air quality and reducing congestion and I’d like to thank all that took part in the consultation and shared their views with us."
“Air pollution currently causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK each year and the consultation responses show residents are concerned about the air quality in Bath, which these changes will help improve.”
Aron Davis, a campaigner for the Drivers' Freedom Group said "Bath council have been waging war on the motorist for the last five years, What with LTNs, Speed cameras, roadblocks, and now this, the public have had enough, more than enough."
Davis also pointed out that the councillor appeared to be confused over what the 'story' was this week saying "Councillor Rigby doesn't even know what she's talking about, someone should perhaps explain to her that Co2 is not the cause of those 36,000 deaths, Co2 is a greenhouse gas, it's not toxic to our lungs, we produce the stuff every time we breathe out."
Even residents who don't use council car-parks do not escape these draconian rules. The same scheme also extended to those who merely want to park outside their own house. In each of Bath's 15-minute city zones residents are charged to park outside their own home, and If you dare drive a car that the council don't approve of, they manipulated it so that you have to pay more than your neighbour in his Toyota 'Pious'.