You don't have to be a genius to work out the knock-on effects of imposing a Workplace Parking Levy (WPL). One of the reasons we campaigned against a proposed WPL in Bristol last year was that residential streets would be clogged up with more parked cars as employees stop parking in staff car parks to avoid the levy. Do councils think people like paying more in tax?
When I last wrote about Nottingham's WPL in March, I looked back at the problems it had caused in its first year of operation. As soon as the WPL came into force, residents started complaining about parking issues - some of them asking for residents' permit parking zones.
Nottingham City Council is not averse to picking the pockets of residents, businesses, and visitors, and is set to make more money from the mess it created. If the council gets its way, new charges will be introduced in three areas of the city, and drivers will be charged between £1.50 and £2 a day. The idea behind the pricing is that those working in nearby businesses will realise that paying this daily rate is more expensive than paying the WPL. Either way, they have to cough-up regardless.
The council is of course aware that any extra income it makes from these new charges must be spent on transport related initiatives. Here's what it plans to do with the money:
Income, if any, resulting from the introduction of these additional tariff zones, is used in accordance with section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, Section 55 (financial provisions, relating to designation orders), to fund further schemes to address parking issues within the neighbourhoods, caused by the displacement of parking and to support the administration and processes that support these schemes.
Putting that into plain English, the council will use the profits to impose charges in more areas where the WPL has caused parking chaos. More parking meters, fewer free parking areas, and more people forced to pay the levy. These charges will hit residents hard and damage businesses and retailers alike.
This decision has been called-in for scrutiny, so we await further developments, however you get the feeling that you will be able to hear the council's cash registers ringing from miles away!