Dropping your child off at school? That'll be £75... just to park

Borough sparks fury and accusations of targeting mums and children with its plans to charge cars at school gates

Councils plan to charge parents up to £75 a year for parking permits allowing them to drop their children off on the school run.

A pilot project in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames starts in September, affecting 13 schools, and the Local Government Association says similar schemes are likely to be extended across the country.

In Richmond, where the plans have already drawn fire from families and motoring organisations, the permits will allow parents to park in bays near the school for 15 minutes.

The price will be linked to the car's carbon dioxide emissions - drivers of small, low-polluting cars will get a free permit, but parents with people carriers or four-wheel drives will be charged the maximum £75.

Previously, parents of Richmond schoolchildren could pick up a free permit from the school which allowed them to park on double yellow lines or in bays for 10 minutes.

Richmond was the first local authority in the country to link the price of residents' parking permits to engine emissions, in 2006, and the Liberal Democrat-run council announced last month that it would score another national first by switching its entire 200-vehicle fleet to biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil.

A spokesman said they were following the Government's lead on traffic-related issues. "The Government is trying to reduce school run car use, and we support it," he said. "We want to drive down carbon dioxide emissions in the borough and become the most sustainable council in the country."

The council says parents on the school run accounts for 20 per cent of all traffic on the borough's roads at 8.50am during term-time. It also says the proportion of parents using the car to get their children to school has almost doubled in the past 10 years from 16 per cent to 30 per cent.

But Margaret Morrissey, of the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations, told the Sunday Telegraph the scheme was "unfair and unrealistic", and that many parents had no choice but to use big cars.

She said: "Mums and small children are such an easy target for councils. They should try offering some parking provision and stop this nonsense.

"Many families have three or four children and they need the space to fit child seats the Government insists on."

Paul Watters, the AA's head of public affairs, told the paper: "People carriers may be in the higher carbon dioxide bands, but they are very efficient at getting kids to school, considering many are seven-seaters. It might be a better idea to remove the many smaller cars that clog the streets up."

Under Richmond's residential parking scheme, permit prices tripled for vehicles emitting the most carbon dioxide. In a council survey, 47 per cent of residents voted for the scheme and 39 per cent were against. Commenting at the time for the AA, Mr Watters called the move a "tax-raising exercise".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence