Could more cities charge Workplace Parking Levy

Been asked to comment on an article on WPL published on a website / magazine called CityMetric.
Yje main reason WPL did not get taken up more widely was alack of the appreciation for the political rationale – that improvements to transport were most sought by people and businesses who travelled distances, so they should pay for improvements rather than the residents who paid Council tax. 
Councils weren’t concerned enough for either for the environmental benefits.
Then the projects that might need extra finance were not sufficiently valued, like sustaining the bus network, or in the planning like renewing railway stations, or providing new train services, or supporting new tram lines.  (Projects requiring capital finance generally only contribute part to the project.)
A major challenge to the earliest schemes proposed was the time it took to deliver.  National government and civil service would keep sending people to challenge what yo ere doing.  Nottingham’s scheme took 14 years, despite drawing advice from colleagues, who’d previously implemented schemes in Australia.  (Had never heard of schemes in Canada.) 
The article says that schemes can only be implemented in councils that don’t change political control, but that ignores that there are minorities within majority groups.  14 years of potential interruptions is too long.  Hopefully, new authorities exploring the idea will face less obstruction.  
The real challenge is getting the politics and solutions right in the first place. Yes, Bristol dropped their road user charging when Labour lost control, but Nottingham always thought road user charging was the wrong approach.  Taking half of the money raised to run, whereas parking levy takes about an eighth (check figures for more precise amounts). 
We also focussed on places having more than 10 places, cos the firms would be more capable of administering the scheme, and more capable of introducing travel plans to reduce the demand for cars.   We also left the decision of whether firms or car users paid, to the firms.  
The boundary might be an issue for cities that cover more suburbs, but given the exemption for the smaller businesses, I wonder how much of an issue.  Of course businesses in suburban areas will prompt the introduction of residential parking schemes such as permits. 
BTW, we had a very good public campaign called the Big Wheel.  
Given the article is based on interviews with people involved in the Nottingham scheme, I can only explain the different emphasis I am giving down to my role involving advocacy and liaison at a strategic and national level.  
But the politics – egalitarian (many of our residents don’t own cars), green, investing in transport and communities, and relieving the pressure on the road networks ought to be incentive enough.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s