On 1 October 2009 new regulations come into effect that will allow local authorities in England (excluding Greater London), to introduce schemes under which employers and educational establishments will be charged for each parking space they provide.
The stated aim of the levy is to prompt employers and educational establishments to discourage car commuting and encourage the use of alternative transportation. Local authorities will have to decide whether to introduce a levy scheme and how it will work, the charging structure, exemptions and discounts. Employers will either have to pass the cost on to employees or absorb it/ pass it on to their customers.
Nottingham City Council has already announced its scheme which will begin in 2012 and which could see employers charged up to £350 per annum per parking space. The scheme has met great local opposition, with the Derbyshire and Nottingham Chamber of Commerce threatening to mount a legal challenge. Major local employer Boots UK has announced that it would relocate its entire car parking to avoid charges of £500,000 year. Small businesses oppose the scheme as “a tax on going to work”.
The Department for Transport intends to release guidance regarding factors which must be considered by authorities when establishing a levy scheme and it is expected that no levy will be collected before April 2012. However, businesses that provide parking for employees may wish to begin communicating proposals to their staff and discussing ways to reduce the impact of the levy by reducing reliance on personal transport.
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