An amendment proposed by Green Councillors to next week’s budget council meeting would fund work at Bristol Council to develop a Workplace Parking Levy, a charge on private workplace parking which could raise tens of millions of pounds to be used to fund transport improvements in the city.
Green Councillor Jerome Thomas is proposing the motion which would allocate money to develop an outline business case for the project, adding to funding previously secured by a Green amendment last year to develop a feasibility study for the proposal. A Workplace Parking Levy would introduce a charge on employers in Bristol who provide private workplace parking (Frequently this is provided as a perk to some of their highest paid employees.)
Nottingham successfully used revenue generated by their workplace parking scheme to double the size of their tram network and fund other transport work, generating over £44 million between 2012 and 2017.
If the Green amendment passes, a workplace parking levy could be ready to launch in 2023/24. There would be exemptions to the levy, e.g. for workers with disabilities who have no alternative but to drive. The money raised by the amendment could be used in the shorter term to fund improved dedicated cycling routes, increased bus services, reduced ticket prices and in the longer term fund mass transit capability including trams and trains.
Councillor Jerome Thomas said:
“There have been years of inaction in Bristol on tackling congestion and improving our transport system – now we’re about to come out of lockdown transport is critical. If we get this wrong Bristol risks going back to even more congestion and pollution. Drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users all want a better transport system that works for everyone, and the workplace parking levy could unlock millions of pounds to make massive improvements to our transport system.”
|Description of Budget Amendment, Rationale and Implications||2021/22||2022/23|
|Reallocate one off expenditure – reduce spending on Developing Strategy / Asset Management Plan as Workplace Parking Levy will generate a higher financial return.||(£250k)||£250k|
|£30k funding allocation was proposed (and passed) in the Green budget amendment for 2020/21 for an updated strategic outline case for a workplace parking levy. This work has not yet been undertaken, the money remains unspent and is still available.
In order to catch up on the lost time this year in progressing a workplace parking levy Greens are seeking a budget allocation of an additional £250k to develop the WPL in an outline business case (following the completion of the strategic outline case), drawing on the expertise of Nottingham city council in successfully setting up the scheme which has funded their tram system. This would be with a view to the workplace parking levy being ready to generate income for the city in 2023/24. There would be exemptions to the levy for workers with disabilities.