Workplace Parking Licensing
Transport Scotland is consulting on measures which will allow local authorities to take forward discretionary workplace parking licensing (WPL) schemes, a new power provided under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019.
The consultation seeks views on the development of regulations and guidance that must be in place before local authorities can choose to set up a WPL scheme. A WPL would see employers pay an annual levy to the council for every parking space they provide for employees, with the revenue raised supporting the local transport strategy, for example to encourage walking, cycling and public transport.
Local authorities who are considering WPL will have to undertake their own consultation and impact assessments before deciding whether to implement such a scheme and how it should be designed and operate in their area.
Minister for Transport, Graeme Dey said:
“It has never been more important to take decisive action to tackle climate change - and Scotland is leading the way by committing to reduce the number of kilometres travelled by car by 20% by 2030.
“Workplace parking licensing has the potential to be a key tool for local authorities to help us reach this ambitious goal, by encouraging the use of more sustainable travel modes, reducing congestion and tackling harmful emissions.
“As the net revenue generated must be committed to support policies in local transport strategies, this policy is also intended to finance improvements in public or active transport, making it more attractive and thus encouraging individuals to leave their cars at home.
“Providing local authorities with discretionary powers to implement a WPL scheme supports the vision and priorities set out in our National Transport Strategy, to create a fairer, greener transport system for everyone in Scotland to share and benefit from.”
Councillor Steven Heddle, COSLA Environment and Economy Spokesperson said:
“COSLA supports the principle of discretionary local taxation. The Workplace Parking Licensing as a discretionary power for local authorities can support wider transport and climate change strategies. COSLA welcomes the publication of the consultation on the WPL scheme regulations and guidance and we hope that responses will provide useful input on the development of key elements of the regulatory framework.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Air Pollution Campaigner, Gavin Thomson said:
“It’s great to see progress on this new power. Councils badly need a range of measures to change our car-dominated transport system, and workplace parking levies have a track record of bringing much needed investment to transport infrastructure, and creating healthier places to live and work.
“Transport is the biggest cause of climate emissions in Scotland. We have very challenging climate commitments that need to be met by 2030, both Scotland wide and in Glasgow and Edinburgh specifically. This levy helps us start making the necessary changes to the way we move around, while also being an important tool for councils to address the inequality of our current transport system.
“Almost one in three people in Scotland don’t have access to a car, and this figure is higher in our bigger cities. Bus users are disproportionately lower paid workers or those seeking employment. Revenue from the workplace parking levy can improve the availability and accessibility of public transport.”
The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 includes provisions introducing a discretionary workplace parking licensing power for local authorities. The Climate Change Plan update (CCPu) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, laid in Parliament in May 2021, set out that a public consultation would take place in summer 2021, with regulations and guidance following in 2022.
The Act also provides for certain national exemptions from any charge, although these workplace parking places may still be required to be licenced. These exemptions include parking places reserved for Blue Badge holders, certain parking places at qualifying NHS premises, and parking places at hospices.
The consultation will close on 6 September 2021.