Workplace parking levies backed by Campaign for Better Transport-led research

Workplace parking levies backed by Campaign for Better Transport-led research Stephen Joseph, Campaign for Better Transport.

A new think tank established by Campaign for Better Transport has suggested that workplace parking levies and other new financial mechanisms could raise millions for public transport. A research report from CBT’s ‘thought leadership programme’ Tracks, says the government should consider broadening the way public transport is financed in the UK and learn from innovative schemes like Nottingham’s Workplace Parking Levy.

The research hails the workplace parking levy introduced in Nottingham in 2012 with an annual charge paid by employers in the city with more than 10 parking spaces. This levy now raises £9million 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. 

“Other countries use a much wider range of means to finance their public transport, especially at local level,” says Stephen Joseph, chief executive, Campaign for Better Transport. “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 Nottingham City Council spokesperson adds: “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.”

Tracks aims to promote research and discussion on key transport issues. Financing public transport was the opening topic to be tackled by Tracks with future themes set to include devolution; transport and development; and air quality and climate change.