The controversial CO2-based parking permit scheme is due to be scrapped tonight.

Richmond Council’s cabinet is to officially end the scheme as part of a series of parking policy changes.

Under the scheme residents pay different amounts to park in controlled parking zones (CPZs) based on their car’s carbon emissions.

The new Conservative administration had promised to scrap the CPZ scheme, introduced by the Liberal Democrats in 2007, and the policy of differential parking charges.

Councillor Nick True, leader of Richmond Council, said: “We need effective green policies that help, not hurt. If we are to fight climate change and engage public support in it, we need policies that apply to all and discourage use of large-polluting vehicles.

"Vehicle excise duty, fuel duty and purchase taxes on high-polluting cars are all good models of this. Richmond’s CPZ tax utterly failed that test.

“It is regressive. It hurts residents in smaller terraced houses in a minority of roads with controlled parking, while letting those in big houses with drives off scot-free, no matter how many gas guzzlers they owned.

“It taxes car ownership, not car use – in some cases it actually provides an incentive to use or move cars to avoid tax.”

Councillor Clare Head, Richmond Council cabinet member for traffic, said new policies would include a flat fee for CPZ permits.

Borough residents would also get 30 minutes’ free parking wherever there are currently charges as part of plans to alter the Richmond Card, the Oyster-style card run by the authority.

Richmond Card users will get 10 per cent discounts on all parking while any drivers over 75 will get a 20 per cent discount.

However, charges are set to rise with a 5 per cent increase in the cost of parking less than two hours, a 10 per cent increase in two to six-hour stays and a 15 per cent increase for parking for more than six hours.

Coun Head said: “The new system will be far simpler to use and understand, but will continue to discourage all-day stay long-distance commuting by car.

“Unfortunately, in the present economic climate our basic car parking tariffs will need to continue to rise, but even non-residents will find our charges will still compare well with similar London destinations – so we are confident visits to our borough will not be affected.”

The measures are set to cost the council £241,000 a year plus up to £90,000 to reprogramme parking meters, according to a council report.