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Workplace parking levies and other new financial mechanisms could raise millions for public transport

8 June 2016

The Government should consider broadening the way public transport is financed in the UK and learn from innovative schemes like Nottingham’s Workplace Parking Levy, according to new research.

The research, which was commissioned as part of Campaign for Better Transport’s new thought leadership programme Tracks, was endorsed by a roundtable of transport experts which met to share ideas and examine new sources of funding for public transport.

One of the schemes examined was a levy on workplace parking spaces, which was introduced in Nottingham in 2012 and is an annual charge paid by employers in the city with more than 10 parking spaces. A separate briefing for the Tracks programme shows that this levy now raises £9 million a year which is used to finance the city’s public transport, including new tram lines, electric buses and the regeneration of the railway station. Other cities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, are now considering implementing similar schemes. 

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Other countries use a much wider range of means to finance their public transport, especially at local level. If barriers to new funding streams from property and local charging could be removed this could help make new public transport schemes happen. Nottingham’s workplace parking levy has proved to be a very good way of raising money for public transport improvements, with other cities now looking to replicate its success. It’s exactly this kind of practical outcome of sharing of ideas and expertise that Tracks was set up to do.”

A spokesperson for Nottingham City Council said: “We were pleased to be given the opportunity to present our learning experiences at Tracks in relation to devising, delivering and successfully operating the first Workplace Parking Levy scheme in the country and answering questions about all stages of the scheme from an informed audience of transport practitioners.

“Nottingham City Council’s Workplace Parking Levy model is one that can be followed by other councils and tailored to fit individual circumstances. Other councils can benefit from the lessons we learned and so implementation timescales and costs can be shortened and reduced.”

Bob Menzies, from Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The Tracks event on workplace parking was an extremely useful discussion around the benefits and challenges faced by authorities considering a Workplace Parking Levy.  The ability to explore the issues in depth both with those who had the experience and others considering this approach, was a great help in developing our thinking about how a levy could benefit Cambridge.”

Tracks aims to promote research and discussion on key transport issues. Financing public transport was the opening topic to be tackled by Tracks with future themes set to include devolution; transport and development; and air quality and climate change. For more information visit www.cbtthoughtleadership.org.uk.


For further information please contact Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or alice.ridley@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. Tracks is a new thought leadership programme set up by Campaign for Better Transport to react to contemporary issues in the transport sector. The annual programme comprises four themes, linked to current and evolving challenges, and each theme will have three key outputs: Research - around the topic and to form a basis for engagement with decision makers; Engagement - roundtables with policy makers; and Conclusion - summary report. For more information visit www.cbtthoughtleadership.org.uk.
  2. The research was carried out by Steer Davies Gleave and surveyed worldwide and UK funding and financing options for public transport. You can read the full report here.
  3. The briefing on Nottingham's Workplace Parking Levy is available here. For more information contact Stephan Richeux, Media Manager at Nottingham City Council, stephan.richeux@nottinghamcity.gov.uk.
  4. Oxfordshire County Council hosted the Tracks workshop. For more information on Oxfordshire’s current and future transport plans visit http://tinyurl.com/mu2rj77. Press office contact Martin Crabtree: martin.crabtree@oxfordshire.gov.uk.
  5. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).