Parisians have voted to triple parking costs for sports utility vehicles (SUVs) following a referendum on Sunday [04 February].
Sone 54.6% in favour of special parking fees for SUVs, although turnout was only 5.7%.
Cars weighing 1.6 tonnes or more will be charged €18 (£15.41) per hour for parking in the city centre, or €12 (£10.27) for those parked further out.
The French capital is aiming to cut down on localised air pollution by targeting the drivers of heavier polluting cars. According to reports, SUVs produce 20% more CO2 emissions than conventional cars.
Commenting on the result of the referendum, mayor of Paris Anne Hidaglo said: “Parisians have made a clear choice, other cities will follow.”
The referendum result in Paris follows a trend of decisions in the French capital – including increased parking costs, gradually banning diesel vehicles and increased bicycle lane capacity – signalling a significant shift away from car-centric cities toward climate-conscious planning.
In 2023 the city also banned e-scooters in an effort to make Paris safer.
Paris’ anti-SUV push has not gone unnoticed elsewhere in France, with the Green Party mayor in Lyon planning a three-tier parking fee for both residents and visitors from June.
The vote was also watched closely by other cities, the decision could influence a wave of policy making across Europe.
In the UK, 75% of SUVs are registered to people living in towns and cities. They have been accused of taking up too much room on the road in the denser city environment.
Critics claim the obstruction and increased congestion created by SUVs also impacts on bus reliability by increasing journey times.
Transport charity Campaign for Better Transport spokesperson, Silviya Barrett, said: “SUVs are too large for city streets, creating obstruction to pedestrians and road users, and disproportionately adding to congestion and carbon emissions.
“We want to see higher charges for visitor and resident parking for SUVs in UK cities and better parking enforcement to help reduce the impact of these large vehicles on our cities’ roads and public transport system.”
Achievements and innovations in sustainable urban mobility will be celebrated at the third annual CiTTi Awards, which will be held on 26 November 2024 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Nominations officially open in March 2024. Please visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector.