Leicester City Council are looking for residents’ views on a proposed Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) plans, which could help fund long-term modernisation of the city’s public transport, cycling and walking networks.
Over the summer the council carried out initial consultations into a possible scheme, and now more detailed plans for the WPL have been published.
The WPL would be citywide and would see most employers with more than 10 spaces pay £550 per space per year for a licence to provide car parking for their employees. The council said the high number of small businesses in Leicester means that around nine out of 10 are too small to have to pay.
Furthermore, the WPL is designed to encourage people who travel into the city regularly for work to use alternatives to cars for the daily commute, while financing the improvements needed to ensure the city’s public transport, cycling and walking networks provide realistic alternatives to car travel.
The income from a WPL could be around £95m over the first 10 years and would enable the city council to match-fund with other grants to invest up to £450m into improving transport across Leicester. It would enable the council to plan for long-term transport investment rather than relying on government funds.
According to the council, the improvements are key to meeting tough environmental and air quality targets set by both the government and the city council itself, as well as dealing with congestion and connecting new housing developments with sustainable transport.
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.”
A 12-week public consultation has now been launched, giving people and employers the chance to find out more details about the proposed WPL, how it would work, and to comment on the scheme. It runs from 16 December 2021 until 13 March 2022.