Work Place Parking Levy - Nottingham City Council

In a bid to tackle congestion, Nottingham has introduced a work place parking levy through the powers granted to them by the Transport Act 2000.

Nottingham has introduced a work place parking levy through the powers granted to them by the Transport Act 2000. The levy puts an annual charge on each parking place provided at a place of work and is designed to encourage commuters to use public transport to commute. The levy is currently unique in the country and has led to a reduction in traffic and an investment in public transport improvements.

The challenge

Tackling traffic growth and congestion in Nottingham city centre.

The solution

The workplace parking levy was introduced as part of the Transport Act 2000. It allows transport authorities to impose a charge for every parking space provided by an employer. The revenue raised must be spent on things that support the local transport plan. Local authorities are able to bring forward proposals for schemes but the Government has stated that they must demonstrate they have consulted local businesses and addressed their concerns. Although local authorities are responsible for bringing forward schemes it is for the Secretary of State to approve them.   Nottingham indicated that they intended to access these powers in 2007. They consulted widely across the city and held a five day public examination to assess the plans. The DfT approved the scheme in 2009 and agreed that the scheme could become operational in 2012. 

The impact

The charge raised £9.3m in 15/16 which has been invested in a major set of improvements to Nottingham’s public transport, including the second phase of the city’s tram network. The tram improvements led to an immediate £100m boost into the local economy1 as well as further long term benefits. Public transport patronage in Nottingham is increasing as a share of total journeys - accounting for over 40% of journeys taken in Nottingham. Unlike the rest of England’s core cities the number of car miles is in decline.  Between July 2014 and July 2015, after major works to improve the tram network were complete, Nottingham was the only core city in England to observe a reduction in journey time per vehicle mile on locally managed A roads in the morning rush hour.

How is the new approach being sustained?

The scheme is self-funding with surpluses invested in improving public transport. Nottingham implemented the scheme for employers with more than 11 parking spaces. They set the charge initially at £288 per space per year. Employers are allowed to pass the charge onto employees who use the spaces and about 53% of the spaces covered currently do so. There was an immediate impact as employers sought to reduce their liability, with eligible parking places decreased by 17.5% in the run up to implementation. The charge is reviewed annually and increases at the rate of inflation.

Lessons learned

There has also been no evidence of an adverse economic impact as a result of the changes. Nottingham has experienced a growth in the commercial property market as well as significant jobs growth throughout the period that the charge has been in effect. The workplace parking levy has proved an efficient way to encourage people to leave their car at home and use Nottingham’s public transport, reducing journey times for those who have to use the roads.

Simon Dale
Nottingham City council

This and other case studies related to reducing congestion can be found in the LGA publication 'A country in a jam: tackling congestion in our towns and cities'.