Workplace parking levies – an alternative to financing public transport?

8 June 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

The Government should consider broadening the way public transport is financed in the UK, including the introduction of workplace parking levies, says Campaign for Better Transport following new research published today.

Workplace parking levies

According to the Campaign for Better Transport, Workplace parking levies and other new financial mechanisms could raise millions for public transport. The recent announcement follows a new report suggesting the Government should consider innovative schemes like Nottingham’s Workplace Parking Levy.

The research, which was commissioned as part of Campaign for Better Transport’s new thought leadership programme Tracks, was endorsed by a roundtable of transport experts which met to share ideas and examine new sources of funding for public transport.

Nottingham’s Workplace Parking levies raise £9m a year for the city’s public transport

 One of the schemes examined was a levy on workplace parking spaces, which was introduced in Nottingham in 2012 and is an annual charge paid by employers in the city with more than 10 parking spaces. A separate briefing for the Tracks programme shows that this levy now raises £9 million a year which is used to finance the city’s public transport, including new tram lines, electric buses and the regeneration of the railway station. Other cities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, are now considering implementing similar schemes.

“If barriers to new funding streams from property and local charging could be removed this could help make new public transport schemes happen”

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Other countries use a much wider range of means to finance their public transport, especially at local level. If barriers to new funding streams from property and local charging could be removed this could help make new public transport schemes happen. Nottingham’s workplace parking levy has proved to be a very good way of raising money for public transport improvements, with other cities now looking to replicate its success. It’s exactly this kind of practical outcome of sharing of ideas and expertise that Tracks was set up to do.”

A spokesperson for Nottingham City Council said: “We were pleased to be given the opportunity to present our learning experiences at Tracks in relation to devising, delivering and successfully operating the first Workplace Parking Levy scheme in the country and answering questions about all stages of the scheme from an informed audience of transport practitioners.

“Nottingham City Council’s Workplace Parking Levy model is one that can be followed by other councils and tailored to fit individual circumstances. Other councils can benefit from the lessons we learned and so implementation timescales and costs can be shortened and reduced.”

The full report, carried out by Steer Davies Gleave, can be read in full here.

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