Workplace parking levies: the answer to funding large scale local transport improvements in the UK?

Despite positive experiences in Australia of utilising area wide workplace parking place charges to pay for public transport improvement, only one UK local authority, to date, Nottingham City Council has chosen to implement a Work Place Parking Levy scheme (WPL). This scheme intends to allocate the revenue raised to fund (amongst other things) two new tram lines. Acceptance by the public and the business community are seen as key barriers to implementing a WPL. The two major criticisms of the Nottingham scheme prior to its implementation were that a WPL would discourage business investment and thus damage the economy while its intended impact on traffic congestion would be minimal. Therefore a detailed assessment of the Nottingham WPL scheme’s performance is essential in order to facilitate transferability of this approach to other UK and European Cities and thus bring WPL into the mainstream for funding transport improvements. This paper outlines the barriers to implementation of the Nottingham WPL scheme, and the rationale behind the chosen use of revenue and how the scheme’s performance will be evaluated as a transport demand management measure, as well as some initial performance monitoring data following the first year of operation. The results to date are discussed with a view to identifying any early indications as to whether traffic congestion and business investment has been impacted by the scheme’s introduction.