Nottingham – The Workplace Parking Levy

The new Workplace Parking Levy (Tax) came into force this week and I have deliberately avoided blogging about it until now. I have been thinking this one through. I’m not sure I am closer to a conclusion, but I do have some thoughts.

Firstly the positive. I think we should plan our transport for the long term. We need to find better ways of getting people around that the motor car. That doesn’t apply to me, of course. This is because I need my car for my work (not to mention the fact that I can be allergic to some of the nutters you find on public transport).

The tram seems a pretty good thing – after all that’s what the WPL(T) is paying for. In some small way I will benefit as it will come past my office window – although if it dings more than once a week I shall be unhappy.

But then some of the negatives.

As a business we have decided not to pass on the charges to our staff. This is partly as we have three offices and how we could charge on office but both the others seems to be difficult. Then there is the charge itself – £288 this year for every space where there are more than 10 at the workplace. Then 2013 sees the WPL rise to £334, while the subsequent two years will see the WPL(T) increase to £364 and £381. That’s 32% over 3 years. Wow.

Then there’s the small matter of ‘marginal taxation’. There’s no such thing when it comes to WPL(T). If you have 10 spaces you pay £0.00. If you have 11 you pay £3,168. I’m not sure this is right or fair.

Business is tough at the moment and adding this sort of overhead to the firm is not helpful. We bring people into the City to work, we generate jobs and prosperity.

As a firm we have already started to see incoming business ask whether a property is caught by the WPL(T). That could be a slippery slope?

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5 comments on “Nottingham – The Workplace Parking Levy

  1. Hi Tim
    Interesting thoughts but can I challenge the slippery slope criteria? The ‘it doesn’t apply to me’ and ‘nutters on public transport’ attitudes are what prevent the world genuinely making progress on climate change, despite good intentions. Really many of us who use buses are quite normal and connections between East Midlands cities are some of the best in the UK. Keep thinking… It’s about more than the money.

    • Climate change, give me a break and go and bang on about this to the Chinese and other developing countries, they are the big polluters. Stop making everyone in this country feel guilty about having an alternate view on climate change. This is nothing but another labour tax as they have not the imagination or skill to make the plan cheap enough to finance it through fares the tram might produce! I live in Nottingham 2 miles from the center, I can only say the traffic from my house in the morning is acceptable and a drive is as quick as the bus or bike. How long would it take you to get to the centre of Nottingham from your house by Public Transport? A wee while I would think as your probably not from the area are you? Oh and if your so flush how about you chip in some of your cash to help pay for the unfortunates on minimum wage who have to pay to park because their employers refuse to pay for the scheme and the costs are passed on to them directly? Saving the planet … Pah

  2. Hi Rachel, thanks for joining in the debate. The slippery slope I mentioned was in relation to the number of enquiries we are getting as a firm for accommodation – where we are now being asked whether the WPL will apply. As the charges increase this will become more important.
    But I do see the bigger picture, hence my reluctance to avoid being ‘anti’ the ‘tax’. The timing isn’t great – business is struggling and yet more fixed costs are unhelpful at best, damaging at worst? Yes it is more than about the money – but business is about money!
    OK, hands up on the bus description – it was slightly tongue in cheek. The reality is that I can’t use buses for my work – and the last time I went on one was at the Isle of Wight Festival 5 years ago – when there were definitely some nutters around me… I don’t tar you all with the same brush – honest!

  3. I do agree with what you’re are saying but some companies are taking advantage of their staff with this levy. Take the University of Nottingham for example. They started charging their staff from October 2011 not this April 2012 when the official charging actually started.
    They have also made it impossible to get out of. An example of this is myself. My car has recently broken and I cannot afford to get it repaired or get a new one for now. It will be at least 4-6 months or even longer. Yet the University of Nottingham has managed to dupe everybody by giving very limited options (I believe there are 3 options) and by putting a non refundable clause on the contract. There is no leniency for people like myself who cannot use the space any more… How am I supposed to predict my car breaking I ask them!!
    I’m also not going to benefit at all from the tram as it comes no-where near me and by the time I reach the first station, another 2 minutes driving and I’m at work, and bus fare is extortionate. So I stand asking what am I to do other than park my off-the-road car in a space at the university so that I’m at least using the space I’m paying for!

    • I agree, some of the larger organisations who are paying significant amounts have clearly had to charge staff. I wasn’t aware of the complexities / conditions attached.

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