Fears are growing amongst the West Midlands business community as their East Midlands counterparts are facing a Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) on their private staff car parks in Nottingham.
The tax, being introduced by Nottingham City Council on business car parks with 11 spaces or more, amounts to a £185 charge per parking space which will rise to £350. The council’s aim is to raise £63 million for their tram system.
A massive 96% of businesses in the area oppose the charge, with 62% of those businesses claiming that they would now consider relocating their interests.
This comes at the same time as a draft Transport Bill proposes circumventing the democratic process and passing decisions on the congestion charge to local PTAs, therefore bypassing the wishes of councils who have opted to oppose these measures.
Once again local businesses and their employees are being squeezed for council revenue, and expected to shoulder the costs of expensive new transport schemes.
Environmental concerns are now frequently being exploited in order to penalise the driver by increasing their tax burden, and those who depend on transport are being treated as though they were cash cows who can be relied upon to top up government coffers unresistingly. For most businesses, a car park is a necessity and not a luxury and any opposition should not plough them into the category of the gas-guzzling anti-environmentalist, but be regarded as the genuine concern of those who have the interests of both employees and the local economy to consider.
We should be supporting workers who rely on their cars along with the many many businesses that depend on road transport and infrastructure to bring prosperity to this region, and without a doubt our local councils in the West Midlands should oppose any proposals to introduce this levy as we simply cannot afford to chase away the very people who contribute the most to our region.