Leicester may soon have its own workplace parking levy as the council is considering the scheme to improve the city’s air quality.
Leicester City Council plans to consult residents on the scheme, which would charge employers providing parking spaces for employees, as a way to fund transport improvements and reduce traffic congestion.
The council has confirmed that it will open a consultation on the working parking levy once it has finished consulting on its Local Transport Plan – a process which could take until 2021 to complete.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said that Leicester faces ‘real challenges’ to improve its air quality and transport options, but admitted that the council is ‘at the very early stage of a lengthy process’.
Cllr Clarke said: ‘It is essential that we continue to invest in transport improvements that encourage more people to walk, cycle and take the bus.
‘There is a lot of work that needs to be done before we can consult on our case for a workplace parking levy, including developing a new local transport plan that reflects the opportunities that this new funding would allow us to explore.
‘While that work is ongoing, we will be approaching businesses and other relevant organisations and aiming to start a discussion around the city’s transport challenges and how we can fund future improvements.’
Nottingham is the only UK city to have introduced a workplace parking levy to date, after the council brought it into operation in 2012.
The levy has proven a success in Nottingham as it has brought in over £60m of revenue for the council to spend on improvements to the city’s buses, railway and tram network.
Other local authorities including Birmingham, Oxford, Glasgow and several London boroughs are now considering whether to introduce their own workplace parking levies.
Electrification of Leicester’s bus fleet, a ‘more comprehensive’ bus and cycle network, and a better railway station are among the improvements to Leicester’s transport system that the council hopes the levy will enable them to carry out.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby commented: ‘While we have been extremely successful in attracting major funding from Government and other sources, a workplace parking levy would provide a reliable and ongoing source of locally-controlled funding to help us commit to ambitious, long-term transport improvements.
‘No decisions have been made yet, but we do want to consult on the idea of the workplace parking levy as a means of a funding future transport improvements.’
The council will now discuss its plans to introduce the levy at its next transport committee meeting, although any proposed scheme will be subject to approval by the Department for Transport.
The city’s Local Transport Plan is set to be opened to public consultation early next year, while the council plans to consult on the workplace levy in early 2021.
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