Workplace parking levies

Executive summary

  • A workplace parking levy is a local tax on employers who provide parking spaces to their employees. Nottingham has one already and Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds and Oxford are considering introducing them. Traffic levels initially fell after Nottingham introduced their levy but have since risen.

  • Traffic counts were falling at a faster rate, approximately twice as fast, in 2000-11 compared to 2011-17. This raises questions about how effective workplace parking levies are on traffic (and therefore congestion and air quality), beyond an initial short-term effect after introduction.

  • Off-street parking space on private land is the most efficient way to use land for parking because it does not impose external costs on others.

  • Nottingham’s £415 levy per space represents almost 2 per cent of the £23,288 median annual pay of the city’s full time employees last year.

  • Charging a levy on the most efficient form of parking land use (off-street parking on privately owned land) would certainly help drive custom towards the council’s parking businesses.

  • Councils should dispose of their own off-street parking business empires. But they should also consider whether their on-street parking charges are reflecting market conditions and whether savings could be made in their own use of vehicles.

Click here to read the research paper.