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Q:

How does a workplace parking levy work?

A:

Nottingham became the first city in the Northern hemisphere to introduce a workplace parking levy (WPL) in 2011, but could soon be joined by other UK areas: both Cambridge and Oxford are in the process of launching their own schemes.

Under Government regulations, the charge is levied on employers with 11 or more parking spaces and they can choose to either pay it themselves or pass it down to employees.

By law, any revenue has to be spent on improving transport to increase options for commuters.

Nottingham started its WPL scheme in 2012 and now charges £387 per parking space – equivalent to £1.50 per working day. It has raised more than £44m in the first five years.

“The levy contributes towards two of the three top transport objectives of the Nottingham business community – the expansion of Nottingham’s successful tram system and the redevelopment and capacity enhancement of Nottingham Station – along with investment in Locallink bus services connecting communities with key destinations, increasingly with electric buses,” says David Bishop, corporate director for development and growth at Nottingham City Council.

“More to the point, the schemes wouldn’t have happened without the levy.”

About half of all spaces are paid for by employees of businesses in Nottingham, while the city has among the highest public transport use in the country, with an associated fall of 40 million car miles over the past 15 years.