04 February 2024

Paris votes on ramping up parking fees for 4x4s

04 February 2024

Parisians are voting whether to muscle 4x4s off the French capital’s streets by making them much more expensive to park, the latest leg in a drive by mayor Anne Hidalgo to make the host city for this year’s Olympic Games greener and friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists.

Ms Hidalgo is looking for voters’ backing for a proposal to triple parking fees for 4×4 drivers from out of town.

She argues the vehicles take up too much space on narrow Parisian streets, are too polluting and “threaten our health and our planet”, and cause more accidents than smaller cars.

“The time has come to break with this tendency for cars that are always bigger, taller, wider,” she said. “You have the power to take back ownership of our streets.”

The cost for non-residents to park 4x4s in Paris’s central districts, numbered one to 11, would soar to 18 euro (£15) per hour for the first two hours, compared to 6 euro (£5) per hour for smaller cars.

After that, parking would become increasingly punitive. A six-hour stay with a 4×4 – for example to see a theatre performance and dine at a restaurant – would cost a whopping 225 euros (£193), compared to 75 euros (£64) for smaller vehicles.

Away from the heart of the city, in Paris’s outer districts numbered 12 to 20, an out-of-town 4×4 driver would pay 12 euros (£10) per hour for the first two hours, progressively rising to 150 euros (£128) for six hours.

The mini-referendum is open to Parisians registered to vote.

Cyreane Demur, 20, voted in the chic 8th district that includes the car-clogged Champs-Elysees and its chaotic traffic circle around the Arc de Triomphe.

The student said heavier cars make congestion “even more complicated” and “one must consider the ecology, the parking issues”.

But Jadine L’Orlendu, 75, said 4x4s “do not disturb me, they do not take more space than other cars, the parking places are marked, and people should drive what they want to drive. It’s about freedom”.

The question voters are asked is: “For or against the creation of a specific rate for the parking of heavy, bulky, polluting individual cars?”

Polling stations close at 7pm local time (6pm UK time) with results expected on Sunday evening.

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