Fleet News

Workplace parking levy still in balance

Nottingham businesses have abandoned plans to mount a court challenge to block the city councils introducing a workplace parking levy.

However, they have said they will continue to fight the introduction of Britain’s first workplace parking levy in the city.

The levy, which is due to come into force on 1 April 2012, will change companies an estimated £260 a year for every parking space they provide to employees.

Spaces for fleet vehicles – cars or vans - which are used by employees to commute to and from work will also be liable. However, small businesses with fewer than 10 spaces will escape the levy.

Opposition by local businesses has been significant. But John Dowson, head of policy for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, confirmed to Fleet News that the opposition group, which the chamber heads, has abandoned its planned legal challenge following barrister’s advice.

Legal advice suggested that any challenge was unlikely to succeed and if it did, there was a likelihood that the secretary of state would overturn it.

“Ultimately the balance of our members felt it was not wise to proceed,” said Dowson.

However, he said the battle continued.

“The introduction of this tax might still not go ahead. We are still very hopeful. If the Conservatives get in they may repeal it, although they have not yet confirmed this, and if the existing administration remains in power, they could not put in the funding.”

The Conservative Party said it is opposed in principle to parking levies and has confirmed that if it wins the General Election, it will remove the clause that guarantees millions of pounds of additional funding for councils that introduce congestion charges or workplace parking levies.

Dowson pointed out that some local companies with leases that are coming up for renewal are looking at relocating out of the city.

“There are a lot of very angry people out there,” he said. “This is a tax on businesses and on jobs.”

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