Several London boroughs are considering introducing workplace parking levies (WPLs) of at least £750 a year to cut pollution and encourage active travel.
Local confidence is buoyed by the mayor's transport strategy, which gives support for WPLs. Hounslow Council has already carried out an informal consultation on a potential WPL and other boroughs are also actively exploring this option, including Camden.
Any proposal from a borough would have to be approved by mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London, which has produced draft guidance on the issue ‘to facilitate the development of WPLs in London which are capable of being approved by the Mayor’.
London Councils, which represents the boroughs, discussed the guidance at its Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) Executive Sub Committee last week.
The agenda for the meeting notes that ‘for the first time, the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) supports boroughs who wish to implement Workplace Parking Levies (WPLs) as part of their traffic reduction strategies'.
It adds: ‘WPLs are a means of delivering mode shift by managing demand for commuter car travel; raising revenue to pay for public transport improvements; and reducing parking supply in the long term.’
A spokesperson for organisation said that it understood that some boroughs ‘will explore the potential of introducing workplace parking levies that suit local circumstance’ but that it was currently, we are ‘neither encouraging nor discouraging’ their introduction and was consulting boroughs on what they would like to see in guidance for them.
The spokesperson said: ‘That being said, we acknowledge that workplace parking levies could potentially encourage use of less polluting and more active methods of transport, as well as providing a revenue stream for London boroughs, which have experienced a 63% reduction to core funding during this decade.’
The spokesperson added: ’TEC Executive welcomed the flexible approach adopted by TfL in this draft guidance document.’
The meeting paper advises that there appear to be two options: ‘Either a flat rate charge of £750 per year (a level based on factors including a return bus fare, average on-street parking charges and the level needed to be effective in mode shift) or differing minimum rates for outer, inner and central London’.
The paper also notes that there is currently only one scheme operates in the UK, in Nottingham, which has been running for seven years and has raised £64m, ‘which has helped to pay for a tram network, electric buses and refurbishment of the main station’.