Denmark to consider ‘several issues’ with problematic parking law

Social and Interior Minister Astrid Krag says she is listening to the views of local authorities over issues implementing national requirements for enforcement of parking laws.

Denmark to consider 'several issues' with problematic parking law
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The minister said she was aware of the issue, but had no ‘specific solution’ thus far.

Local municipalities have said they cannot afford to enforce parking rules due to the high rate at which money gained from parking fines is due to the state.

The law requires municipalities to hand over 70 percent of money received from parking to the state, an increase from the previous 50 percent. The law encompasses both parking fines and income from paid parking.

That means local authorities would lose money by enforcing parking rules, municipality officials have previously said.

READ ALSO: New rule forces Danish councils to go lenient on parking fines

“I’m concerned with us now giving this some serious thought, because there are several issues and considerations,” Krag said.

An open letter published by newspaper Berlingske, signed by a number of Danish mayors, called for the law to be rolled back.

“This is different depending on whether we are talking about rural municipalities, small towns or large cities who have sent the open letter,” the minister added.

In the letter, the mayors wrote that the law prevented them from using parking income to improve localities for residents, for example through investment in parking or environmental measures.

It also provides incentive for local authorities to charge more for parking, according to the argument.

Krag said several aspects must be taken into consideration before a solution can be found.

“Of course municipalities should have parking spaces and enforce parking rules. Traffic safety is also a consideration,” she said.

“There is also a discussion which must be raised with regard to climate investment. All these varies aspects must be considered. So there’s no straightforward change that can be made to solve the problem,” the minister added.

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Copenhagen residents could pay 100 times more for parking

Copenhagen Municipality is set to hike the price of the residents’ parking permit by as much as 100 times the current fee for some vehicle types.

Copenhagen residents could pay 100 times more for parking
File photo: Celina Dahl/Ritzau Scanpix

The measure, reported by Politiken, is part of efforts to reduce the number of vehicles in the city.

Steep increases will particularly affect petrol and diesel-powered cars, the newspaper writes.

The change in the price of residents’ parking licences will come into effect from spring 2020.

Residents’ parking permits (beboerlicens) have, since 2017, been price-graded according to the emissions of the vehicle to which the permit applies. Diesel and petrol cars with the most economic fuel ratings for their type fall into categories A+ to A++++.

Those categories are currently liable for annual parking permit fees of just 10 kroner. That is scheduled to increase to 1,000 kroner as of next year.

Meanwhile, vehicles with low emissions ratings face a price increase to 4,000 kroner, twice the current rate.

“The price of 10 kroner for a residents’ parking permit is completely meaningless in relation to the price of a square metre in Copenhagen. It is out of proportion in relation to what we want to get out of the city’s space,” Fanny Broholm, a city council representative and climate and energy spokesperson for the environmentalist Alternative party, told Politiken.

“The most effective measure (Copenhagen) municipality has to reduce car traffic is parking restrictions. So it’s necessary to adjust upwards as much as possible in relation to parking. Permits, parking rates, removal of parking spaces and expansion of paid parking zones. Those are the options we have,” Broholm also said.

Copenhageners will still pay less to park their cars than residents of other major Nordic cities, but more than elsewhere in Denmark, according to Politiken’s report.

A Stockholm resident’s parking permit costs 9,000 kroner annually, while Oslo charges 2,200 kroner, the newspaper writes.

Aarhus permits cost 500 kroner annually – but nothing for electric and hydrogen-powered cars – while the price in Odense is 600 kroner per year.

The parking permit cost for electric and hydrogen cars in Copenhagen will increase from 10 kroner to 200 kroner yearly.

READ ALSO: Denmark to consider 'several issues' with problematic parking law