Fleet News

Workplace parking chaos ahead as councils do their own thing

PLANS for workplace parking charges in the UK have been thrown into chaos as London says it will not levy the new tax and Birmingham - Britain's second city - looks set to follow suit.

But as Nottingham gears up to introduce the levy, the different initiatives have renewed fleet fears of charging chaos throughout the country under Government proposals to allow local authorities throughout the UK to decide whether or not they introduce parking and congestion charges.

Fleets could be penalised just because of where they are based, with one firm paying charges for its parking spaces, while another firm in a neighbouring town could escape because it was under a different ruling authority.

The fears were confirmed as the Greater London Assembly, headed up by London mayor Ken Livingstone, decided workplace parking charges should be killed off. The authority has announced there are no plans to introduce or look at workplace parking charges, despite the Act to create the GLA giving Livingstone the powers to introduce them.

The authority is said to favour road-user charging, under plans revealed last month which would see car drivers paying £5 to enter the capital and lorries £15, in a plan that could raise £200 million a year.

This week, Birmingham City Council revealed that interest in workplace parking charges was 'falling away' because of uncertainty over the benefits of such schemes. Problems included whether charges would be liable for VAT, which would immediately increase them by 17.5%.

Nottingham City Council is pushing ahead with plans for charges.The council is using a £1.2 million Government grant to assess the number of workplace parking spaces in the area and decide a strategy for introducing charges. Cash will also be used to upgrade public transport before any charges are introduced, the council says.

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