A new vote in Paris could significantly impact parking fees for vehicles weighing more than 1.6 tonnes, particularly SUV-style cars. This referendum has sparked controversy and debate among drivers, environmental groups, and city officials.
Under the proposed changes, cars that weigh 1.6 tonnes or more would face a substantial increase in parking fees. In central areas, these vehicles would be charged 18 euros per hour, while the fee would be 12 euros in areas further out. Exceptions would apply to fully electric cars weighing over two tonnes and certain individuals such as residents, taxi drivers, health workers, and people with disabilities.
Mayor Anne Hidalgo has justified the measures by highlighting the environmental impact of larger vehicles. She argues that SUVs contribute more to pollution and are less fuel-efficient compared to standard cars. The city of Paris has been actively promoting sustainable transport options and reducing harmful emissions.
In addition to environmental reasons, safety concerns are cited as a reason for targeting SUVs. They are said to pose a higher risk to pedestrians in accidents compared to regular cars. Furthermore, these vehicles are criticized for occupying more public space on the road and while parked, contributing to congestion.
Opposition groups and driver associations have raised concerns about the classification of SUVs and the potential impact on various vehicle types. Some argue that the targeting of SUVs is imprecise and could unfairly affect certain car models. There are calls for a more nuanced approach that considers different types of vehicles and their pollution levels.
The wide range of exemptions in the proposed changes has been criticized for potentially leaving a significant portion of SUVs unaffected by the higher parking fees. This has raised questions about the effectiveness and fairness of the measures in achieving their intended goals.