Response from the Liberal Democrat group
Merton Liberal Democrats believe the Council should be using its powers to encourage residents to use cars less, and switch to less polluting vehicles where possible. However, we do not believe that the current proposals from the Council will be effective in doing this. Instead they appear to have been designed to raise revenue, and to do so in a way which in our opinion still (following the 2019/2020 increases) penalises parts of the Borough that don’t tend to return Labour councillors.
We need an integrated plan which will:
Encourage Merton residents to walk, cycle and use public transport more
Encourage residents to shift to less polluting vehicles and provide them with support to do so
Recognise that many residents will continue to need to use cars and that some will have low mileage
As we mentioned in our 2019 consultation response, a key factor is providing real, practical help to enable residents to switch to greener transport options. We set out some ideas towards this in our consultation response. If an emissions-based model is to be used, these proposals must be tested and shaped using evidence from the Council’s review of the diesel levy and emissions based charges, and learning lessons from similar schemes adopted by other London Boroughs.
Our full consultation response is available here.