Fleet News

IoD demands U-turn on parking charges

A U-TURN on Government plans to allow local councils to introduce workplace parking charges has been demanded by the Institute of Directors. The IoD says businesses would be damaged by the charge - some have put the cost at £2 billion a year - and Ruth Lea, head of its policy unit, has written to members of the House of Commons Standing Committee presently considering the Transport Bill to call for a change of heart.

The Government outlined plans for the charge in the Bill which was published last year. A survey of IoD members in 1998 showed that more than 80% of more than 2,000 respondents opposed the introduction of such a charge. But Lea said: 'The imposition of what could amount to a very expensive total charge in some locations, including London, could seriously damage business profitability and competitiveness.'

Claiming that the workplace parking charge proposals will damage the Government's plan for a competitive economy, Lea added: 'At present there is a lack of realistic alternatives to car use in very many locations. We are very concerned that such proposals would lead to even greater problems than they are intended to solve, by way of costs to business and loss of morale of employees where organisations have to pass on extra charges.'

The IoD's move follows a workplace parking charge protest letter from the British Chambers of Commerce to deputy prime minister John Prescott urging him to drop the plans from the Bill amid claims that it could cost business as much as £2 billion a year.

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