The AA has branded plans to force motorists to pay up to £1000 a year to park at work as a “poll tax on wheels”.
The ‘workplace parking levy’, already in force in Nottingham and reportedly being considered by at least 10 councils, is part of the Government’s plan to reduce congestion and local pollution while raising finances to improve public transport.
AA president Edmund King claims that the charges, set to affect businesses with more than 10 parking spaces, would almost certainly be passed on to workers.
Edinburgh and Glasgow councils have confirmed they plan to go ahead with the charges, while the plan is under consultation in Oxford, Bristol, Cambridge, Reading and a number of London boroughs. Hounslow Council in West London has proposed a charge of between £500 and £1000 a year per parking space owned or leased by a company.
Nottingham city council has claimed that, since the charges were introduced, it has become the only large city in England to see traffic reductions on A-roads during the morning rush-hour. However, it’s been criticised as a charge that will harm the poorest and make commutes even more difficult for a significant portion of the public.
AA president Edmund King said: “The AA accepts that cities are under pressure to cut congestion and pollution. But this ‘poll tax on wheels’ discriminates against employees who are older and less mobile, pregnant women, the low paid and parents who combined a trip to work with school runs."
The scheme is being considered at an individual council level, and is not something forced down to them via the Department for Transport. It is reported that no proposals have been submitted since the Nottingham plan, introduced in 2012.