Have you completed Edinburgh’s Workplace Parking Levy survey?

Tuesday December 12th 2023

Edinburgh Car park Menzies

Company car park in Edinburgh Park, South Gyle.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Responses to an online survey will inform next steps for a potential Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) in Edinburgh.

Last month Edinburgh Council launched a 12-week survey which forms part of a period of engagement in the capital running alongside workshops with stakeholders and key interest groups.

A WPL aims to discourage the provision of free car parking and car commuting and encourage alternative modes of transport by imposing a charge on employers relating to the number of workplace parking places. These charges can be passed to employees.

Midlothian residents who drive to work in Edinburgh, for example those who work in Edinburgh Park, could be be impacted.

Councils have limited options to raise additional income to support the delivery of their investment plans and Edinburgh Council estimates that a WPL could raise over £11 million per year which, by law, would be reinvested in transport improvements. A workplace parking levy could, however, result in negative impacts such parking being transferred to adjacent streets.

Some years ago councillors in Edinburgh committed to exploring the option of introducing a WPL in the City Mobility Plan 2021–2030 and earlier this year a majority of members on the Transport and Environment Committee voted to proceed with engagement to establish views, issues and opportunities relating to a WPL.

Findings from the engagement will be reported to committee in March and, if members agree to progress the scheme, further more specific proposals will be developed. These would include the boundary within which the levy would apply, the value of the levy charged and what revenue raised would be invested in.

In November Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener said:

“This is first time we’ve asked people for their views on a WPL, and I would encourage anyone with an interest to take part. I would urge residents to study the proposals carefully, assess the benefits, and consider whether any negative impacts have been defined sufficiently.

“Once the engagement is complete, I will ensure the public response is considered in an open and transparent manner.

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 gave councils in Scotland the power to introduce a WPL in their local area. National exemptions include parking places reserved for Blue Badge holders, for healthcare workers at NHS premises and at hospices. Local authorities can exempt additional groups or premises if they choose to.

Transport Scotland has published further guidance on what the scheme involves online HERE.

You can complete the Edinburgh Council Workplace Parking Levy survey HERE.

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