County council moves towards workplace parking levy for Oxford

 

Oxfordshire County Council is considering a workplace parking levy (WPL) for Oxford, which could see it become the second authority in the UK to run such a scheme.

Next week, the council’s Cabinet will consider a report that would give the go ahead for work to begin on an outline business case for a WPL.

”Local

The council pointed out that WPLs, which charges businesses for the parking spaces they provide for employees, can help fund major local transport improvements and that revenue from a possible scheme in Oxford could only be used for measures included in the Local Transport Plan.

It said that if nothing is done car journey times to Oxford from surrounding towns are anticipated to increase by 15% by 2031, at an annual cost of £150m to the city’s economy.

Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire CC, said: ‘A WPL for Oxford is being considered because it would provide a substantial, predictable and locally controlled source of transport funding, and help manage peak-time congestion, which is necessary if we are to develop and deliver the transport system the city needs to thrive.

‘I would like to stress that we are at an early stage and no final decisions are being made now. Before anything can happen we will need to better understand how it could impact on employers and employees.’

Cllr Bob Price, leader of Oxford City Council, said: ‘We would like to see Oxfordshire County Council, the city’s transport authority, significantly invest in alternative forms of transport, enabling people to leave their car at home. Without that investment, this scheme would simply be a further tax burden on businesses in the city.’

Nottingham City Council is the only authority in the UK to have implemented a WPL, which came into effect in April 2012.

Its scheme is an annual charge paid by employers in the city with more than 10 parking spaces and raises around £9m a year, ringfenced to finance the city’s public transport.

The Cambridge City Deal’s package of measures to tackle congestion in the city includes proposals to introduce a WPL with formal consultation with employers planned for next year.

Any new WPL would require approval from the transport secretary.

 

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