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#StopSUVS. New polling shows that Parisians support higher parking charges for SUVs

On February 4th 2024, Parisians will vote on whether to introduce higher parking charges for large SUVs. Read more on a new poll released today by the NGOs Respire and Clean Cities, and carried out by OpinionWay.

17 January 2024

Also available in Italian  

Sondaggio SUV Parigi

More than 6 out of 10 Parisians are in favour of specific parking charges for large, heavy and more polluting vehicles.

A new poll released today by the NGOs Respire and Clean Cities, and carried out by OpinionWay, shows that 61% of Parisians support the idea of introducing parking charges based on the weight of vehicles. This figure climbs to 70% if a number of conditions are met (ensuring the money is reinvested in improving mobility in Paris, only applied to non-residents etc).

A majority of Parisians (56%) have a bad opinion of SUVs. The principal reasons given for this view are: they take up more space (75% of respondents chose this reason), their role in creating toxic air pollution (61%) and their negative impact on the climate (58%).

The new polling conveys an urgent message about the dangers of SUVs. These large cars use more than 20% more fuel than an average smaller car (1), and if they are involved in a collision with a pedestrian or cyclist, the risk of death increases by 30% (2). They also contribute more to emissions of dangerous particulate matter (59% more PM10 and 45% more PM2.5), because they are heavier meaning there is increased tyre wear (3). Parisians were less likely to point to the increased danger posed by SUVs, only 4 out of 10 people thought that SUVs were more likely to be involved in a crash.

Nevertheless, the capital’s residents support plans to regulate car use, in particular heavier vehicles. 40% of Parisians think there are too many SUVs in Paris, and 59% want to restrict car dominance in their city.

  • 61% support a special parking price for heavy, large or more polluting vehicles
  • 68% of those people support revising the Crit’Air tax labelling system to include the weight of both new and second-hand cars
  • 67% support measures to force car manufacturers to increase the proportion of smaller cars they produce.

Tony Renucci, Director of Respire, says: “The results of this polling and the initiative taken by the city of Paris are important signals to automobile manufacturers that they should stop this trend of making ever bigger cars, and to invest more in producing smaller electric vehicles. The introduction of new parking charges for heavy, polluting vehicles, will be a victory for public health and clean air”.

Policy recommendations

Respire and Clean Cities are calling on the government to study the recommendations suggested in the White Paper on Low-emission zones which they published in July 2023. This paper proposes:

  • revising the Crit’Air system to include the weight of the vehicle,
  • devising a national industrial production strategy to produce smaller cars.

These measures, accompanied by local initiatives, such as increasing parking charges (this has already been launched in Lyon (4)), will provide levers for policy makers to take real action on public health and ecology, as well as re-booting national industrial strategy.

Jens Mueller, Deputy Director of the Clean Cities Campaign, adds: “Parisians have the opportunity to put a stop to the never-ending growth in the size of cars on our streets. If we can free up space from these huge vehicles, this will make more space for residents and improve road safety. The French capital can prove an example to other big cities and show how to put people at the heart of our urban areas, and not cars”.

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