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Cleaner air and EV incentives Going green intelligently As travel picks back up after the latest easing of the lockdown restrictions, Peter ODriscoll, managing director at RingGo, looks at how we can continue to encourage moves towards cleaner air and reduce our impact on the environment he Covid-19 pandemic, although a testing time, was also distinct proof of the impact we have on the environment, day in, day out. When mobility stopped, our Earth became healthier. This undeniably highlighted the positive impact that less driving can have on the environment. However, since the beginning of the easing of lockdown measures in the UK, traffic levels have increased rapidly, to worse than pre-lockdown periods. In response, and in light of the governments goal of ending the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030, many local authorities are planning ahead to encourage the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). They are doing this by increasing EV chargepoint provision and offering incentives to boost EV use. T beginning of March, Hammersmith and Fulham became the sixth RingGo council to start offering emissions-based tariffs. The solution not only adds a surcharge to more polluting vehicles, but also rewards motorists who drive and park cleaner vehicles with a 50 per cent discount. Two weeks later, Croydon Council started to offer a significant discount for EVs with a three-band system that varies parking tariffs according to the type of vehicle being parked. In early April 2021, Islington Council began to offer a flat rate of 20p per session for EVs (providing up to four hours of parking), and further increased its diesel surcharge. Islington has constantly supported the use of greener vehicles and is one of only a few council areas where more than 80 per cent of resident journeys are by modes of transport other than a car. Since the beginning of the easing of lockdown measures increased rapidly, to worse than pre-lockdown periods Greener steps Among those taking steps towards a greener future is Maidstone Borough Council. It used business intelligence dashboards based on RingGo data to analyse how many people were currently using EVs and where, and how often they were parking. This data was then used to calculate how much it would cost to offer this parking for free. In April, Maidstone became the first council outside of London to give motorists who drive EVs cheaper parking when they pay using RingGo a significant incentive to encourage people to make the shift to a greener future. Several London councils have made the move, too. At the Strategic decision-making There is no doubt that the pandemic has been a catalyst for change when it comes to eco-consciousness, but it hasnt been the only reason for the shift in thinking. On the back of delays and the watering down of clean air and zero-emission zones, many councils are looking for alternative methods of improving air quality or, at the very least, ways to complement existing schemes. Going green is imperative for the future of our world, and making small incremental changes based on incentives can bring the UK a step closer to achieving the governments goals. 34 britishparking.co.uk PN June 2021 pp34-35 RingGo.indd 34 21/05/2021 11:39