An evaluation of the economic and business investment impact of an integrated package of public transport improvements funded by a Workplace Parking Levy

Hypothecated revenue from the Nottingham Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) is being used to fund additional tram lines, refurbish the Nottingham Railway Station and to sustain the supported Linkbus network. This strategy aims to constrain congestion, cater for future economic growth and make Nottingham a more attractive location for business investment and to live, visit and work. Literature reveals that the Nottingham WPL forms a relatively small proportion of a business’ turnover and that the availability of an efficient public transport system is an important factor in business location decisions. Consequently, central to the WPL package is the expectation that an improved public transport network will prove sufficiently attractive to the business community to offset any perceived negativity of the WPL and hence make Nottingham an attractive business location relative to other UK and European Cities. This paper aims to evaluate the economic and inward investment impact of the Nottingham WPL package. The Theory of Change approach is used to analyse the impact complemented by benchmarking against comparator Cities. A range of available indicators are used including economic output, employment, net business VAT registrations, the level of investment enquiries and successes and investment case studies. The paper concludes that there is strong evidence that the WPL is not having a significantly negative impact on inward investment. Additionally, strong growth in employment and output, combined with a positive movement of inward investment indicators, suggests that Nottingham remains relatively attractive to investors. There is emerging evidence from investment case studies that the public transport improvements are playing a role in this.