Nottingham Workplace Parking Levy Package
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Brief summary of this reform
Nottingham levies a charge on employers in the city that offer 11 or more car parking spaces for employees, regular business visitors or pupils/students. The revenue is earmarked for transport improvements. The parking levy is a transport demand management measure that affects travel by prompting employers to manage their workplace parking and by helping to fund a package of sustainable transport measures and investments.
Why should you care?
This is a rare case of a workplace parking levy applying across a large area (a large proportion of the Nottingham metropolitan area).
The Nottingham WPL is so far reported to be strikingly successful. It was crafted to be part of a strategic transport package for the city.
Note that business sites in Nottingham do not face minimum parking requirements, so reducing parking supply is one option available to them.
Key actor type
mode shift or TDM
Nottingham City Council
Is it a model or a warning?
Main parking category
Main parking paradigm shift
taxes and levies
Away from excessive supply AND towards more responsiveness to context/market
Adaptive Parking thrust
Two or more others
Goals of the reform
"The Nottingham Workplace Parking Levy Package (WPL Package) is ... aimed at constraining congestion, providing additional sustainable transport capacity to cater for growth and contributing to making Nottingham a more attractive City for business investment." (Dale et al., 2017)
Impetus (what problem, campaign, opportunity or event prompted action?)
The Transport Act 2000 allows local authorities in England and Wales to levy a charge on employers for workplace parking provided to employees.
Nottingham City Council began considering a WPL soon afterwards and was granted a license to do so when the Workplace Parking Levy (England) Regulations 2009 came into force. As of 2021, Nottingham the only local authority to have used this authority.
Detailed description of the reform
Nottingham levies a charge on employers in the city that offer 11 or more car parking spaces for employees, regular business visitors or pupils/students.
The parking levy is a transport demand management measure that affects travel by prompting employers to manage their workplace parking and by helping to fund a package of sustainable transport measures and investments.
Every workplace parking space is licensed but employers with 10 or fewer spaces receive a 100 per cent exemption. This licensing requirement creates a complete database of workplace parking in the city.
Parking spaces that are empty, or occupied by customers, occasional business visitors or fleet vehicles will not need to be licensed and will not be charged. There are also some limited exemptions, such as National Health Service sites and disabled parking spaces but not education.
The level of the WPL for the next licensing period is £428 (USD590) per year. Annual increases in the charge are linked to increases in inflation.
According to Center for Cities, "the levy raises £9 million a year which is used to fund improvement to public transport in the city and costs around £500,000 a year to run."
The revenue is earmarked for transport improvements. According to Nottingham City Council, "money raised from the WPL has helped to fund NET Phase Two (the extensions to the existing tram system), which now carries more than 17m passengers a year, as well as the redevelopment of Nottingham Station. It also supports the popular Link bus network."
The city council provides support for employers to develop workplace parking and mobility plans.
About half of the firms that pay the levy reportedly pass the cost on to their employees (although medium-sized organizations have tended to absorb the cost) (Dale et al., 2014).
Image credit: Malc McDonald / Nottingham trams,
Results or impacts
Center for Cities reports: "Public transport usage is now among the highest of any city in the UK. This partly results from a local culture and policy of municipal public transport (Nottingham City Council retains majority ownership of the local bus company), which has been supported by the WPL. Nottingham was the only Core City in England to see congestion fall on A-roads in the morning rush hour from 2012, when the levy was introduced. CO2 also fell 33 per cent across the city (albeit not just because of the levy). There is little evidence that it has had a negative effect on the city’s business stock. A longer term impact will be that the land previously used for parking will be converted to the public realm, and residential and commercial uses. For example, the University of Nottingham has expanded onto land that was previously used for university car parking before the levy was introduced."
Dale et al. 2017 find: "that there is strong evidence that the WPL is not having a significantly negative impact on inward investment. Additionally, strong growth in employment and output, combined with a positive movement of inward investment indicators, suggests that Nottingham remains relatively attractive to investors. There is emerging evidence from investment case studies that the public transport improvements are playing a role in this."
Sources and acknowledgements
Nottingham City Council, Workplace Parking Levy
Dale, S., Frost, M., Gooding, J., Ison, S. and Warren, P. (2014), "A Case Study of the Introduction of a Workplace Parking Levy in Nottingham", Parking Issues and Policies (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 335-360.
Dale, Simon & Frost, Matthew & Ison, Stephen & Quddus, Mohammed & Warren, Mr. (2017). Evaluating the impact of a workplace parking levy on local traffic congestion: The case of Nottingham UK. Transport Policy. 59. 153-164. 10.1016/j.tranpol.2017.07.015.
Center for Cities
31 Mar 2021