Headlines: July 18th, 2007


People in Nottingham are being asked for their views on a council plan to introduce a Workplace Parking Levy, which could see 50 of the city’s large employers paying an annual fee for each parking space they provide. The money raised would be used to improve local transport and reduce congestion.

The city council says the fee, initially to be set at 185 pounds for each space, would raise up to 12 million pounds a year that could go towards the expansion of NET -Nottingham’s successful tram system, the cost of improvements to the main railway station and better bus services.

The Levy proposal comes after an East Midlands Development Agency report put the annual cost of congestion to the region’s businesses at more than 900 million pounds, and follows confirmation from the Department for Transport that a Public Inquiry is to be held later this year into the expansion of the Nottingham tram network. The city can also point to its track record in tackling congestion, which has seen traffic growth holding steady against a national upward trend. Public transport use in the city has grown by 8 per cent in the last five years, more than in any other core city.

Council Leader Jon Collins said the best way to ensure the city’s economic vitality and to protect its environment was to keep improving public transport. “We are launching this consultation because we are ready to consider using a Workplace Parking Levy to raise funds to pay for NET Phase Two as well as even better bus services and improvements to the train station. It needs to be easier and easier to choose to use public transport. No locally raised funding means no more trams, simple as that. ”

The public consultation will last for 12 weeks and will include a formal Public Examination early in October led by an independent chair who will produce a report to be considered alongside analysis of the consultation results.