Leicester City Council has announced plans to introduce a workplace parking levy based on the Nottingham model.
Under the scheme, which would start in 2023, most employers with more than 10 spaces would pay £550 per space per year. The cost could be passed on to employees.
The operating area would be the city council’s administrative boundary. Between 450 and 600 businesses across the city are likely to have to pay the levy, while around nine out of 10 companies in the area would be too small.
The income is expected to be around £95m over the first 10 years.
Any levy payments could only be spent on transport and would enable the city council to match-fund with other grants to create a £450m sustainable transport fund supporting the delivery of:
- A transformational eight-year ‘Bus Service Improvement Plan’ through the new ‘Leicester Buses Partnership’. 'Over 400 high quality electric tram-like buses will be the norm by 2030,' the council said.
- Bus priority lanes on key routes, integrated timetables, multi-operator digital ticketing across services and real-time displays at bus stops.
- Affordable bus fares with discounts for elderly, disabled, young and unemployed people and the ability for all travellers to get the ‘best fare’ on all journeys across the city.
- A citywide network of cycleways, for long and short trips, that will link current routes in the city centre directly with, and between, local neighbourhoods.
Leicester deputy city mayor leading on transport and the environment, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: 'A Workplace Parking Levy has been a consideration for some time in terms of addressing the city’s present and future transport needs, and it is clear it could play a major role in financing the kind of improvements set out in the draft Leicester Transport Plan, which are vital if we are to meet both the city’s transport needs and its environmental obligations.
'Nottingham City Council has valuable experience of a WPL over the last 10 years or so, which is why we’ve been working closely with them in designing a scheme for our own city.
'The benefits of reducing traffic in the city are easy to see – anyone commuting during the school holidays can see how much difference even a 10% drop in vehicle numbers makes.
'Of course, people need to know there’s a reliable, convenient public transport system available if they are to be persuaded to leave their cars at home, and the money raised by a WPL would enable us to make huge steps forward in delivering that over the coming years.
'The Government would have to give us approval to bring in a scheme, but the more people take part in this consultation, the better chance we have of ensuring it can address local needs.'
Pre-COVID-19, around £10m was raised a year by Nottingham's scheme, the UK's only existing workplace parking levy scheme. Since 2012, Nottingham has raised almost £80m and used this to attract a further £600m to invest in local transport.
Nottingham currently charges £428 for employers who provide 11 or more liable places.