The environmental impact of differentiated parking fees

By introducing ‘smart’ charges and taxes, municipal authorities can make a major contribution to improving environmental quality. One example of this kind of fiscal strategy is differentiation of parking fees according to a vehicle’s environmental impact. A number of Dutch municipalities (including Amsterdam, Tilburg and Nijmegen, as well as the Association of Dutch Municipalities, VNG) have already shown an interest in differentiated parking tariffs and legislation on municipal governance is to be adapted to allow municipalities to implement this kind of green tax scheme. In support of these changes, information is required on the likely environmental consequences of these kinds of measures. This study looks specifically at the environmental impact of ‘green’ parking fees, if introduced for both resident permit-holders and visitors.

Differentiated parking fees can help encourage in-town use of low-emission vehicles and discourage use of ‘gas guzzlers’. This CE study shows that such differentiation can make a major contribution to reducing the urban emissions of the target groups in question (permit-holders and visitors), although in absolute terms these cuts are fairly limited.