Up to 10 local authorities could be planning to introduce workplace charging levies, which could cost employees up to £1,000 per year to park at work.
According to The AA, Hounslow Council is proposing to introduce a charge between £500 and £1,000 and nine other councils are considering similar measures.
The schemes are designed to reduce inner-city emissions and improve air quality by discouraging drivers from using their car to get to work.
Businesses can decide whether to swallow the costs or pass them on to employees.
Revenues raised by the levies can be used to improve public transport and fund new zero emission mobility solutions.
Currently, the only council to enforce a workplace parking levy is Nottingham.
The Nottingham scheme, which charges businesses £375 per space, has been in operation since 2012 and has raised £53.7 million, which has been used to improve Nottingham’s tram network and subsidise a public bike-share scheme.
Edinburgh and Glasgow councils are expected go ahead with the charge soon while Reading, Oxford, Bristol, Cambridge and the London boroughs of Merton, Brent and Camden are still considering the proposals.
“It is a good thing to put money into transport but workplace parking is a pretty blunt instrument,” AA president Edmund King told Forbes.
“The AA accepts that cities are under pressure to cut congestion and pollution. Trying to convince workers in cars to switch to public transport, walking or cycling therefore has to be considered. However, like the CO2-related residents parking permits that cost families hundreds of pounds and encouraged them to buy diesel vehicles, the unintended consequences of a workplace parking levy may be severe.”
Thee AA believes councils should encourage the take-up of electric and lower emission vehicles instead.