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Kensington and Chelsea swaps parking meters for trees in a bid to improve air quality


Jun 13, 2019 #Environment

London borough becomes first in the country to offset carbon emissions through cashless parking

London, UK – 17 June 2019 – Kensington and Chelsea Council today announced that it has signed up to a pollution-busting programme, which will see the borough offer completely cashless parking by 2020, with mobile parking payment provider PayByPhone.

As part of PayByPhone’s carbon footprint reduction initiative, Meters for Trees, the company commits to donating more than 70 new trees to the central London borough and to donate funds for a similar number of trees to be saved in the Brazilian rainforest, in order to guarantee an overall carbon reduction. The council will begin to take machines out of service on 24 June 2019, with the actual removal process starting on 1 September 2019.

Cllr Cem Kemahli, Lead Member for Environment, Kensington and Chelsea Council, says: “The shift to cashless parking and PayByPhone’s Meters for Trees initiative are huge steps forward in our quest to make our borough’s parking service carbon neutral. Cashless parking is more convenient for drivers and eliminates the risk of theft from machines. But more importantly it also means that our staff will no longer have to drive 23,000 miles every year, almost a tenth of the way to the moon, to maintain and to collect cash from parking machines. This is the type of smart, green initiative we think will become the new norm for cities around the UK. It’s great to be leading this change.”

The removal of Kensington and Chelsea’s more than 700 parking machines will take place in phases in order to give residents and visitors ample time to adjust to the change. PayByPhone signage will be clearly displayed to inform drivers on how to use the service. The council aims to complete the transition to cashless parking by 2020.

Jonny Combe, PayByPhone’s UK CEO, says: “Kensington and Chelsea’s commitment to our Meters for Trees initiative is a fantastic example of how cashless parking can support forward-thinking councils on their journeys to improve the air quality in their boroughs. In addition to the environmental benefits and crime reduction for the council, cashless parking also delivers significant convenience to drivers, as they can start a parking session in a matter of seconds and use their phones or even their smart watch to extend the parking from anywhere.”

Kensington and Chelsea Council is the first participant in PayByPhone’s new carbon footprint reduction initiative, which was created in collaboration with Carbon Footprint Ltd, to support local authorities across the UK to reduce pollution. Councils who sign up to Meters for Trees agree to reduce the number of parking machines over a set period of time. PayByPhone, in return, will donate one tree to the borough for every 10 parking machines – whether or not they are in operation – and one tonne of carbon dioxide will be saved in the Amazon rainforest through Portel-Pará REDD, a Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) audited project that combats deforestation.

For more information about PayByPhone and its work with Kensington and Chelsea, visit www.paybyphone.co.uk/rbkc and to find out more about PayByPhone’s Meters for Trees, please visit www.paybyphone.co.uk/metersfortrees.



PayByPhone, a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Financial Services AG, is one of the fastest growing mobile payments companies in the world, processing more than £300 million in payments annually. Through the company’s mobile web, smartphone and smartwatch applications, PayByPhone helps millions of consumers easily and securely pay for parking without the hassles of waiting in line, having to carry change or risking costly fines. Registration is quick and easy, and the app reminds the user when their parking is about to expire, allowing them to top up from anywhere, at any time. In a commitment to the environment, PayByPhone became Carbon Neutral certified in the UK in 2019.





Anthony Cashel                                                          Chantal Bachelier-Moore

Marketing Manager, PayByPhone UK                   PR Consultant, DAPR

acashel@paybyphone.com                                       chantal@dapr.com

(+44) 7384 259955                                                     (+44) 207 692 4964