The introduction of Britain’s first workplace parking levy has been causing a spot of bother in the UK. The City of Nottingham was the first in the UK to introduce the levy in 2012 in an attempt to reduce congestion in the city. Employers are being charged £334 for each parking space offered to employees, and it seems in most cases, this charge is being passed directly on to commuters. Rather than reducing traffic and congestion, the levy has created even more chaos than city officials might have imagined.
The commuters are decidedly unhappy about it and are going to great lengths (literally) to avoid the congestion tax. The form of protest they have chosen is to utilise the city’s free parking areas, which has left surrounding streets awash with cars, much to the distress of the local residents. The situation has become so fraught, that the council is now looking at implementing on-street parking restrictions to deter commuters from parking in residential areas.
Nottingham was meant to be serving as a pilot program for other UK cities, but Bristol has reportedly already scrapped plans to introduce a similar scheme. The council defends the scheme highlighting that the levy is being used to fund additional tram lines and to redevelop the railway station, both of which should have a major (positive) impact on congestion problems. However, this assumes that employees will take up the cost of the levy.
The analysis of all aspects and repercussions of introducing any type of parking control is essential in ensuring that all bases have been covered and all stakeholders appropriately consulted and considered.