With the GLA precept in the our Council Tax expected to increase by almost another 10 per cent this year during a cost of living crisis, you would think that at least the element for TfL (which was doubled) would consider being covered by Workplace Parking Levy (WPL).
A WPL is a licensing scheme which applies to certain defined workplace parking spaces. The scheme requires employers to pay a charge for the number of parking places they provide that are regularly used by employees. It is a discretionary power made available to the council as a licensing authority by virtue of Schedule 24 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 which provides the framework to implement WPLs.
The idea behind implementing a WPL is to discourage individuals from using private vehicles to commute to the workplace and move them towards walking, cycling or using public transport. The London Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) released in March 2018 included a proposal to support boroughs that wish to develop WPLs as it will help to meet the Mayor’s aim that 80% of trips in London will be by those means by 2041
A WPL can be developed by boroughs as part of a traffic reduction strategy and any revenue
raised as part of the levy must be re-invested into transport improvement schemes. The scheme can also help fund major transport projects and infrastructure initiatives in the City of Westminster that will help it retain its status as a world class location. Nottingham is the leading authority and thus as a leading example, since the implementation of its WPL 11 years ago, nearly £90 million of revenue has been created and ring-fenced for a variety of transport improvements which has resulted in a mass expansion of public transport services in the city.
The implementation of a WPL would help to achieve environmental objectives such as a reduction in CO2 emissions in the city caused by vehicles and a reduction in congestion on Westminster’s Road network. It would also support Westminster in its journey to becoming a net zero city by 2040 and the Mayor’s aims set out in the Mayors Transport Strategy.
Indeed it was incredible should it did not come up during the government negotiations with TfL during the pandemic for its funding, as a means of finding another source of funding outside of annual government grants.
Finally the WPL also get a mention under Transport Levies in the Parliamentary Library publication on local government taxation.
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