The Telegraph has reported today that the country’s first “workplace parking levy” will come into force in Nottingham in 2012 and is likely to be adopted by other councils.
Under the scheme, any firm with 11 or more staff parking spaces will be charged £250 a year for each. That cost could rise to £350 within two years and employers would be free to pass the cost on to their staff.
An estimated 40,000 commuters in Nottingham drive to work and some businesses have threatened to leave the area if the scheme is introduced.
Business associations oppose the extra cost, which has been put at more than £3 billion if it were rolled out nationwide. About 10 million people in Britain drive to work every day.
Councils in Milton Keynes, Exeter, Cambridge and Oxford have expressed interest in the scheme.
The Core Cities Group, which represents Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield, has also expressed interest, identifying the levy's “congestion-busting” potential.
The AA described the latest scheme as a “tax on jobs”. “It is very unfair — discriminating against those employers who have parking spaces, which gets vehicles off the street,” said a spokesman.
“These tariffs apply around the clock, which is especially unfair on shift workers who rely on their cars because public transport is not available.”
“This is more about generating a revenue stream than reducing congestion and will require snooping to enforce it properly.”
In my opinion paying a fixed rate tax won't stop penalised drivers making 'unnecessary journeys', most of these unnecessary journeys are for leisure, pleasure or picking up a pint of milk from the local shop – not going to work to earn money and support themselves.
It will also encourage more on street car parking as any company that tries to get the money from an employee will say they will not park in the car park, I don't think it's a good time to be asking businesses to pay more it is the time for local authorities to find ways of reducing bills.
And what about people who live in rural or remote areas with little or no transport links to places of work – should they be encouraged to not to bother – these types of communities could deteriorate, unless they just pay the ‘tax’ and be penalised for working – doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Rural areas will not be the only victims; as it has become less necessary/common to work in large cities - any company with offices in smaller towns or built up areas will be taxed or its staff will with the unnecessary costs. It will be interesting to see the faces of local authority chief execs when their town centre’s are full of empty office blocks as more people are inclined to work in large cities with accessible transport links rather than pay to park in a company car park. Maybe this tax will have to go towards improving already diabolical transport systems that exist then.
There will be a lot more people then who use the train or bus to work in their nearest large city to avoid the charge and who will face delays, cancellations and unreliable services from the public transport, so their lateness at work may be affected – not very productive. People with kids who need childcare will be limited as most nurseries close at 6pm – it’s near impossible to finish at 5pm and not be pushing it to get to get home before 6pm for most I would say. And all these unhappy commuters will still have their cars at home for their “unnecessary journeys” to the local shop where at the moment they can still park outside for free. I’m confused then – who benefits?
The Campaign for Better Transport (Transport 2000) is not an environmental campaign group. As far as I am aware it is funded by bus companies, rail companies, local councils and transport unions - so it would be far more accurate to describe it as a lobby group for people who benefit financially from anti-motorist legislation.
In my opinion it’s yet another example of "stealth" tax to pay - not just for this current government' but successive governments gross incompetence and mismanagement over the years. Could it be that the only reason this is being proposed is because a large number of motorists are actually using their cars less and not changing them so frequently? Resulting in less revenue from fuel and less car tax on the sale of new cars; it appears to be a tax for "NOT" using your car.
As you can see I don’t think it’s a great idea at all to put it lightly, anyone disagree?