Taxes, Trams, Boots and Broxtowe: Nottingham's Workplace Parking Levy

Nottingham City Council recently approved the Workplace Parking Levy and the local BBC are calling for your views via their website.

The council says it hopes to raise £14M per year from the scheme, and they are currently the only council in the country to use it, though others have considered it, and have so far backed down in the face of unpopularity.

Meanwhile, major Nottingham-based pharmaceutical manufacturer and retailer, Boots, has announced that they are outraged by the WPL. They have since promised not to pass on the charge to their staff and announced a plan to avoid having to pay it altogether.

The plan goes like this. Boots' site is partly on City Council land, and party on Broxtowe Borough Council land. 1,500 of their parking spaces are in Broxtowe, while the other 3,000 are in the City. In the first year, Boots will have to pay around £750,000 for those 3,000 spaces. Boots has enough spare land in the Broxtowe area to simply move all of its parking spaces into the non-chargeable Broxtowe area, thus saving at least a three quarters of a million pounds per year.

If Boots were to go through with this, the City's WPL budget would obviously reduce by £750,000 per year - not ideal from their perspective perhaps, but the City say they have made allowances for the fact that "employers may potentially reduce the number of liable parking places they provide."

Boots does not currently have planning permission for additional parking spaces from Broxtowe Borough Council.

The spotlight now falls on Broxtowe. Boots can expect around three quarters of a million pounds in savings each year if Broxtowe grant a request for planning permission.

The WPL is meant to fund Line 2 of the tram, which will serve the Broxtowe area, and also fund improvements to the City Council-owned NCT 'Link' bus services, who happen to provide transport for Boots workers.


The WPL will come into force in April 2012 and charge £253 per space per year, and is intended to raise the council's share of the money required for Line 2 of the tram, plus additional transport "improvements".

The scheme will be limited to employers within the City Council's administrative boundary, and will only apply to businesses that have more than 10 car parking spaces for their workers (and certain types of business visitor). Spaces marked for disabled use will be exempt from the charge.

Although charging will not begin until April 2012, registration will be required before then. Businesses who must pay the Levy will be subject to random inspections to ensure the number of eligible spaces is correct.

The government has promised to meet the financial shortfalls incurred by setbacks and delays to the financing of Nottingham's Tram. So in effect, all the taxpayers in the UK are contributing towards the Arrow Consortium's Nottingham tram project.

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