Fleet News

West Midlands joins queue to trial office parking charges

A GROUP of seven local authorities in the West Midlands is considering whether to become among the first in the country to run a workplace parking charge scheme that could raise £100 million a year.

The West Midlands Joint Committee - made up of the metropolitan districts of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton - is considering whether it wants to respond to Government calls for authorities to effectively act as guinea pigs for charging schemes.

If the trial goes ahead, firms are expected to be charged £250 on each of the 400,000 employee parking spaces in the area, or less than £1 per working day per employee. A radical solution is considered necessary since businesses' own estimates indicate that congestion in the West Midlands is costing industry £2 billion a year.

Norman Davies, chairman of the West Midlands Joint Committee, said: 'To do nothing is not an acceptable option. We must explore this opportunity, in close partnership with the business community, to see if it offers a realistic way of bringing new transport investment and relieving the high cost of congestion.' The Institute of Directors and Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, however, have both criticised the proposals.

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