UK's first parking levy splits opinion

by Stephen Hurrell. Published Mon 03 Aug 2009 09:30, Last updated: 2009-08-03
Businesses will be charged for each parking space

The UK’s first parking levy will be introduced in Nottingham in 2017, Transport Minister Sadiq Khan announced today.

Environmental groups have welcomed the introduction of the Workplace Parking Levy Order, which will be delayed for two years because of the current economic recession.

Under the scheme, businesses will be charged for each parking space they supply for employees.

Friends of the Earth's Executive Director, Andy Atkins, said: "This important and welcome initiative will cut congestion, fund expansion of the local tram system and help Nottingham play its part in tackling climate change.

"Councils across the UK must get serious about global warming by committing to cut carbon dioxide emissions in their area by at least 40 percent by 2020 - we hope more local authorities follow Nottingham's lead and develop plans for a greener future."

The money collected from the levy scheme will be used to extend Nottingham’s tramline with the help of £150 million in funding from the Government.

The extensions to the tramlines, which recovered initial Government approval last week, will run to Chilwell and Beeston and, on another route, to Clifton. The current £200 million tramline opened in March 2004 and carried over 10 million passengers last year.

Sadiq Khan said: "The Nottingham tram continues to be a great success in encouraging people onto public transport. These extensions provide the opportunity to improve on this success, and give people in the south of Nottingham and longer distance commuters quicker, more convenient access to the city centre.

“And, of course, the extensions will also boost economic growth and regeneration in the city by improving access to a number of key employment sites.”

Nottingham City Council, promoting the scheme, hopes to begin work on the extensions in 2011 if the procurement process is successful. The lines are scheduled to open in 2014.

However, Notts Chamber of Commerce is leading the campaign for a public inquiry into the levy after a Parliamentary Committee labelled the scheme "flawed".

Policy officer John Dowson explained: "We are disappointed a workplace parking levy is being allowed to go ahead, given the concerns expressed by the [Transport] Select Committee.

"The whole economic climate has changed since the original proposition was put forward and some of the package promised is in doubt."




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