SUV owners should be charged more for parking, a Dublin City Councillor has suggested.
Some 22,000 SUVs were sold in Ireland last year - most of which were petrol or diesel - and their emissions are on average 20% higher than an average non-SUV vehicle.
Janet Horner represents North Inner City for the Green Party and believes SUVs are “not necessary” and merely a “status symbol”.
“I would argue you would never need a 4x4 on the streets of North Inner City Dublin,” she told The Hard Shoulder.
“It’s not a vehicle that’s equipped for the type of infrastructure we have here, it’s not a safe vehicle in a very heavily populated area - particularly with children… and it’s really not a vehicle that supports the climate ambitions of the city at the moment as well.”
Cllr Hornet said Dublin City Council has “limited” options to disincentive people from driving SUVs but should start with higher parking charges.
“One of the things that I would like to see us move forward on as a city now is to introduce parking charges that respond to the level of emissions and weight of the vehicle,” she said.
“One of the things I’d love to see the Government bringing in and pushing more and more is an increase in tax by both weight and emissions.”
Cork Cllr Ken O’Flynn said he disagreed and felt the Government should not try and influence what car he drives.
“If I’m purchasing a car, it should be my decision - because it’s my money,” he said.
He also believes that SUVs can be useful in certain circumstances.
“I know from looking at my own neighbours in Blarney and friends my own age with children that have SUVs - in particular using the seven seaters,” he said.
“[They] are very handy for not only going to school and coming back from school but taking them to the swimming lessons, the rugby, the GAA, the horse riding, the karate - all that sort of stuff.”
Main image: Jeep SUVs are seen on a car sales lot.