Fleet News

Councils gear up for road charges

COMPANY car drivers working in 30 local authorities could face charges for workplace parking or using congested roads as the Government gears up to make its Transport Bill law.

Nine local authorities already plan to introduce congestion charges or workplace parking taxes, and companies could find themselves having to pay charges while firms in neighbouring authorities have free use of car parks and roads.

Durham, Leeds, Derbyshire and Bristol want to charge motorists using their most congested areas during peak times, while Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire and Reading are planning to tax parking spaces reserved for company employees.

But claims that workplace parking levies could result in benefit-in-kind tax charges have been dismissed by the Inland Revenue. Company car parking spaces will be paid for by companies applying for a licence to local authorities and an Inland Revenue spokesman said: 'Workplace parking charges will not be taxed. They are specifically exempt from benefit-in-kind charges.'

Derbyshire is planning to introduce charges on a road in the Peak District, while Durham wants to charge motorists using a road for access to the city centre. Four West Midlands authorities, 12 councils in Greater Manchester and Hampshire County Council are also considering the options, as well as Derby, Leicester and York.

Although councils could introduce both charges, they are more likely to decide on just one to obtain Government approval.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Parliament has thrown out unpopular plans to introduce workplace parking charges following objections from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the Confederation of British Industry Scotland to plans to introduce tolls on existing trunk roads and motorways in Scotland which were subsequently dropped. In a statement the executive said the proposed parking charge was 'not appropriate to Scottish circumstances'.

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