Drivers could be charged to park at work

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A number of councils across the UK are planning to introduce a Workplace Parking Levy (WPL). This could see people that drive to work charged up to £1,000 a year to park.


The Workplace Parking Levy is levied on employers for each car parking space they provide (those with 10 or more parking spaces). Companies can choose to either pay it or pass it down to employees.


The WPL has already been rolled out in Nottingham where four in 10 companies pass on the costs to staff. Businesses in Nottingham with more than 10 parking spaces are charged £415 per space per year.


Since it was introduced, the charge has raised £53.7m which has been used to improve Nottingham's tram network.


Edinburgh and Glasgow councils have announced they plan to go ahead with the charge while Reading, Oxford, Bristol, Cambridge and the London boroughs of Merton, Brent and Camden are at the consultation stage.


Hounslow is planning one of the highest charges, up to £1,000 per space per year.


Thinktank Centre for Cities claims WPLs are a way for cities to generate funding for policies to extend prosperity to more people, by improving public transport and therefore increasing access to opportunities for more people. 


It also believes it will encourage commuters to carpool or switch to public transport, which reduces congestion and its costs to business and residents. The reduction in traffic also improves carbon emissions and air quality.


Spaces reserved for disabled people and the emergency services are exempt, while exempting firms with fewer than 10 spaces reduces costs for business and the council.


The AA has expressed concerns, with president Edmund King comparing the WPL to a “poll tax on wheels”.


He said: "We need more incentives to switch to electric vehicles rather than a tax on work to drive businesses out of town or out of business.


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