Anyone who's watched Top Gear has likely heard its hosts drone on about the fee that the city of London charges motorists driving in certain areas of the city to reduce traffic congestion. Well, there's a whole new fee for vehicles in specific emissions categories to help reduce carbon and it seems people are finding an interesting way of not paying it.
That fee works out to around $16.30 at current exchange rates, so people are looking for any way they can to avoid paying, and Londoners who live just outside the ultralow emissions zone (ULEZ) are profiting, according to a Tuesday release by YourParkingSpace.co.uk, an online marketplace that says it helps people rent out their extra parking spaces and even their driveways to commuters who work in the city.
YourParkingSpace says it saw a 34% increase in people leasing their driveways in the week following the ULEZ going into effect.
"It is very encouraging to see that the ULEZ appears to be having an immediate desired impact," Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk, said in a statement. "It is also interesting to see the spike in savvy property owners registering their driveways and empty spaces near the ULEZ, making it easier for motorists to find a parking space near a bus stop, train or underground station."
How does this whole process work? Well, the entire thing is kind of like an Airbnb for parking spaces. So you get to access the driveway for a certain period during the day, then you have to be out by a predetermined time. You can pay monthly or daily and public transit gets you the rest of the way to work.
It seems like kind of a brilliant idea, and one that may increase in popularity as other UK cities like Bath, Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds plan to enact their own ultralow emission zones.
Currently, YourParkingSpace estimates that its users have saved over 132 tons of carbon emissions by not driving into the town center and looking for parking spaces.
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