What is the Employers Workplace Parking Levy?
A workplace parking levy (WPL) is a charge made by a local authority on larger employers for the number of parking spaces provided for employees. All money raised from a WPL must be ring-fenced for investment in local transport improvements. It is not a tax on spaces in public car parks.
Why is it needed?
Funding for public transport is under pressure. Costs for fuel and wages are rising which threatens services and drives up costs for passengers. It is right to ask the Government for more funding but introducing a Workplace Parking Levy in Sheffield is something the Council has the power to do. Other Councils have or are planning to introduce it, why not Sheffield?
What improvements could it pay for?
In Nottingham where the Levy was first introduced it has paid for improvements and extensions to tram services, improved bus services and better cycling and walking infrastructure. It has also helped support the introduction of an electric taxi fleet, over 200 electric charging points and reduced congestion and air pollution. In Nottingham the funding from the levy has helped draw in matched funding from other sources,
How much will it cost the employer?
In Leicester where the Levy will be introduced this year, it will cost £550/ parking space, so just over £10/week/space. It is generally larger employers who will be affected, The levy in Leicester only applies to larger employers who have 10 or more spaces and doesn’t apply to spaces for blue badge holders or to parking spaces for emergency services employees.
How much does congestion cost Sheffield?
In 2018 it was calculated that congestion was costing £1101 for every driver in Sheffield. More recently in 2021 TomTom’s Traffic index worked out that Sheffield drivers spend an additional 82 hours (3 days and 2 hours) stuck in traffic. A better public transport and active travel network would cut this frustrating and unproductive time for Sheffield’s commuters.
What benefits does it bring to business?
Businesses will be able to apply for grant funding from the proceeds of the levy to improve their facilities for public and active travel: e.g. bike storage, real time transport info boards etc. EV points can also be funded through the levy.
Will employers pass on the cost to workers?
They don’t have to. That would be a decision for the employer and if they did that cost would be in the region of £2/day.
When would it come in?/timescales
The time needed to establish an Employers Workplace Parking Levy scheme is around 2 years in preparation once the decision to proceed has been made. So it would not add to the impact of the immediate Cost of Living crisis.
Why can’t the council get money for transport from central government?
In theory the money needed could come from the Government but experience shows us that getting the funding needed is very difficult and funding for public services is under immense pressure. It is right to ask the government for funding but introducing a Workplace Parking Levy is a power that local councils already have. It would be wrong to ignore a source of funding when it could be used to help local people.
What other benefits are there?
There are other benefits as well as improved public transport and better facilities and infrastructure for walkers and cyclists. Having a new funding source to support transport initiatives eases pressure on public funds and frees up more funding for things like adult social care and childrens’ services which are constantly under threat of cuts.
Everyone benefits from better air quality, better road safety, better use of land, less pressure on green belt, better use of the city centre’s land space. A more compact city is easier for public transport to serve and easier for active travel.
Nottingham has benefited from increased inward investment, as businesses have recognised the value of a good quality public transport network.