RESIDENTIAL parking permits are to be reduced by a third to help cut carbon emissions and reduce cost for drivers.

The current cost of the first parking permit for residents living within a CPZ (controlled parking zones) is £45 for the first car, which will be reduced to £30.

The first permit is only for cars with an engine size between 900cc and 3,000cc and residents with a larger engine size will have to pay between £90 and £95, so council officers suggest the new pricing may also encourage residents to restrict their engine size, thus reducing carbon emissions.

The decision was unanimously agreed at a cabinet meeting called this evening to swiftly pass the proposal, which was jointly agreed between Labour and the Lib Dems in December, before the local elections next week.

At the meeting, portfolio holder for enterprise and investment and councillor for Cathall ward in south Leytonstone, Cllr Terry Wheeler said: “It is a sign post that we are now taking a comprehensive review of our parking strategy with a view to see where the cost should lie.”

There are 15 CPZ zones in the borough, mostly in the southern and most deprived areas of the borough, so it is hoped the reduction will help residents financially.

Though Lib Dem councillor for Cann Hall ward in south Leytonstone, Cllr Keith Rayner, pointed out at the meeting that residents living nearby in Newham pay nothing for their first car.

He said: “It is important for the south of the borough because there we have a meeting of a number of schemes. Newham has caused us a problem by giving residents parking permits for free.

“There are two roads in Cllr Wheeler's ward and two in mine where the road is on the border, so on one side in Newham they get it for nothing and in Waltham Forest they get a reduced rate. So I hope we can sort out the inequity there.”

The reduction in costs for residents will be paid for, subject to consultation, from a £100,000 budget approved by the full council in February for improvements to car parking, CPZs and engagement with residents and the business community.

Click here to follow the Waltham Forest Guardian on Twitter