Parisians vote to triple parking fees for SUVs in latest green push

Paris voters on Sunday backed a proposal from the capital's socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo to triple parking charges on hefty SUV-style cars, according to official results from city hall.

Parisians voted 54.55 percent in favour of charging cars weighing 1.6 tonnes or more 18 euros ($19.50) per hour for parking in the city centre, or 12 euros further out.

But only 78,000, or 5.7 percent, of the 1.3 million eligible voters bothered to vote at the 39 voting stations set up around the French capital.

Hidalgo hailed a "clear choice of Parisians" in favour of a measure that is "good for our health and good for the planet".

Fully electric cars will have to top two tonnes to be affected, while people living or working in Paris, taxi drivers, tradespeople, health workers and people with disabilities will all be exempt.

"It's an ecological issue, but it's also a societal issue, and it's about how cities need to evolve in a changing environment," said Gregoire Marchal, a 43-year-old cinema distributor, after voting in favour of the measure at a polling station in Paris's 10th district.

"I do have a car, but I think it's great that we can ask ourselves the question and change our behaviour," he added.

Not all voters were happy.

"I'm sick of all these diktaks from Mrs. Hidalgo," said Jeannine, 75, in the wealthier 8th district, where more of the cars appear to be SUVs.

SUVs an 'aberration'

Hidalgo herself voted at a school in the city's 15th district a little before 6:00 pm local time.


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