Workplace Parking Levy may be Extended Nationwide
A tax on workplace parking spaces, due to be introduced in Nottingham, may soon be rolled out nationwide, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has warned.
Under the new Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) scheme, businesses requiring 11 or more parking spaces for staff will have to pay up to £350 a year for each space.
Nottingham City Council is the first authority to confirm that it is to operate the levy, following recent Government approval of its plans. The charge is due to come into effect in 2010.
According to the council, it plans to impose an initial £185 fee for each workplace parking space, rising to £350 by 2014, and penalties will be incurred for non-payment. The council added that it would be up to each individual organisation to decide whether to pass on charges to staff.
“The scheme will set a dangerous precedent and encourage other local authorities to introduce the tax in their areas,”
said an FPB spokesman.
“Far from prompting the use of public transport and reducing pollution as the Government claims, the WPL will simply lead to businesses either paying the tax – thereby lining the pockets of their local authority – or axing their parking provisions.”
FPB chief executive, Phil Orford, added:
“I would urge the Government, in the strongest possible terms, to shelve this scheme. If it wants to reduce congestion and pollution, it should concentrate on improving the quality and affordability of public transport, not penalising employers for taking cars off Britain’s crowded streets.”
Orford said that following Government approval of Nottingham’s plans, other local authorities were now likely to adopt the WPL.
“Towns that impose the charges could become uncompetitive and risk businesses moving elsewhere,” he said.
A Department for Transport spokesman said that only one other local authority had expressed interest in the WPL, however, and that to date, there were no firm plans to go ahead in other cities.
“Although Exeter has shown interest, nothing has been confirmed yet,” he said. “So far, Nottingham City Council is the only authority to have had its plans approved.
“WPL schemes may only be introduced if they contribute to the achievement of local transport policies, with all revenues reinvested in local transport, and they must first be approved by the Department for Transport,” he added.
The FPB is so opposed to the scheme that it even has a petition calling on the Government to scrap the Workplace Parking Levy.
Read more about the Workplace Parking Levy in place in Nottingham (119k PDF).