The Workplace Parking Levy

Nottingham City is the first council in the UK to introduce a Workplace Parking Levy (WPL). The controversial scheme which received the go ahead at the back end of 2009 is still the subject of much debate with supporters and objectors equally matched. The charge, which will be in force from 2012 has triggered outrage from some quarters and has been condemned by some major motoring organisations. An AA spokesman described the workplace parking levy as a tax on jobs adding that it is very unfair discriminating against those employers who have parking spaces which gets vehicles off the street. The organisations will be free to pass on this charge to their employees. It is quite evident that this scheme is being used as a pilot run in Nottingham and it won’t be too long before the WPL will be applied to other parts of the UK. The following is a brief summary about the WPL.

Workplace Parking Levy Exemptions

Parking spaces used by customers, motorbikes, display vehicles, fleet vehicles, vehicles primarily being used to deliver or collect goods, and employees who live at their place of work would not be charged and would not need to be licensed.

100% Discount

No charge would be payable by the emergency services, qualifying NHS premises and employers who provide 10 or fewer liable parking places in total within Nottingham City Council’s administrative boundary. However, a licence would be required for these. Spaces reserved for disabled drivers will also receive a 100% discount.
Free travel planning and parking management advice and assistance is available from Nottingham City Council. With the right support it is possible to reduce the number of single occupancy car journeys to sites and thereby reducing an employer’s liability for the WPL charge.
It is the employer’s decision whether or not to pass the cost of the levy (about 70p per day per liable vehicle to begin with) onto its employees to offset the financial impact of the scheme on the business.


The levy will be effective from the 1st of April 2012 and businesses will be charged at approximately £253 per parking space for the year 2012/13. The costs are expected to increase up to £285 for the period 2013/14 and £301 in the following year. However these charges, and future alterations of the charge after 2015, will be subject to changes in inflation. The WPL is anticipated to raise, on average, £14 million a year over a 23 year period which will be invested into improving public transport. These costs are related to Nottingham alone, and in the future if applied elsewhere, will vary depending on the region it is being applied to.

Who is NOT liable?

Businesses that provide 10 or fewer workplace parking spaces within the City Council’s administrative boundary will be exempt from the WPL. Serviced office companies, such as 20flethcergate, will be providing access to subsidised parking via their partnership with ParkingNottingham and ParkingLocal exempting their clients from the levy altogether. While other businesses, like Boots, have commented that they will defy the levy by moving a majority of their parking outside the city boundary. However, employers are expected to apply for a license which will be available at no additional cost.

Who is liable?

Businesses with 11 or more parking spaces that are based within City Council’s administrative boundary will be required to bear the costs of the WPL. However, all employers that wish to provide workplace parking spaces will be required to obtain a WPL licence available to them free of charge. Employers will be contacted by the Nottingham City Council to help them prepare for the licensing process and provide any additional support or advice.

A workplace parking place is liable for the charge if it is occupied by a motor vehicle used by:

  • Employees, this includes parking places that are provided and paid for by an employer even if this is not on site. (For example – spaces reserved for an employer’s use in a public car park)
  • Suppliers, agents and other business visitors who are attending their regular place of work.
  • Pupils and students attending a course of education or training.

What do the public think?

Following the news of the WPL, the BBC conducted an opinion poll regarding the levy last March and the survey 750 people returned a result where 22% supported the motives of WPL and a vast majority of 78% opposed it. The councils claim is that the WPL will, in effect, encourage people to rely less on private cars and make better use of the public transport system in place. You can view the full results of the survey at BBC Workplace Parking Levy Opinion Poll.

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