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Paris votes for higher parking fees for SUVs

In the French capital, a slim majority voted to triple parking fees for heavy city off-road vehicles. This is also what the Paris administration is aiming for. The special tariff should only apply to visitors.

In a citizen survey in Paris, a majority voted for a significant increase in parking fees for heavy city off-road vehicles. In doing so, the city administration implemented its plan, according to which one hour of parking for SUVs and other heavy cars in the center should cost 18 euros instead of the usual 6 euros and in the outskirts 12 euros instead of 4 euros. For six hours of parking in the center you will have to pay 225 euros instead of the previous 75 euros. The new regulation is scheduled to take effect from September 1st of this year.

Around 1.3 million residents of the French capital took part in the vote under the motto “More or less SUVs in Paris?” called. Around 54.5 percent voted in favor of increasing parking fees, around 45.5 percent against it. However, only just under six percent of citizens took part in the vote.

Mayor satisfied

“The Parisians are the vanguard of a movement, many cities will certainly follow suit,” said Mayor Anne Hidalgo after the decision. “They want to take space away from these heavy cars on the roads, for environmental reasons and for safety reasons.” The decision is good for the planet and for health.

Representatives of the car lobby criticized the decision: Even before the vote, the automobile club “40 millions d'automobilistes” launched a petition against higher parking fees for heavy cars, which are planned in Lyon, Bordeaux and Grenoble in addition to Paris. “Make no mistake: This war against SUVs is just a loophole to eradicate the car as a whole,” it says.

The Paris approach received support from the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol. He called for government intervention against the growing prevalence of city off-road vehicles (SUVs). “It is crucial to solve the problems they pose in terms of additional energy demands, public space demands and additional danger to pedestrians,” Birol told the newspaper Les Échos.

Residents, tradesmen and care services excluded

The city's argument for higher fees for SUVs: The heavy bodies caused increased environmental pollution, took up a lot of public space and endangered traffic safety. The special tariff for large cars was intended to limit the nuisance they cause.

Only visitors should pay the special tariff for SUVs, residents should be excluded, as should tradesmen and care services. The tariff should apply to combustion engine and hybrid models weighing 1.6 tons or more and electric models weighing two tons or more. The regulation does not apply to private parking garages.

Stefanie Markert, ARD Paris, tagesschau, February 4th, 2024 11:33 p.m

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