MACS Response to Workplace Parking Licensing - Consultation on Regulations and Guidance

Read the consultation on Workplace Parking Licensing - Regulations and Guidance.

Question 1

Are there other elements of WPL schemes that local authorities should be required to consult on, besides those listed under the ‘Consultation and Impact Assessment’ section?


Yes. Local Authorities must meet the Public Sector Equality Duty and as such must consult with the nine protected characteristics within The Equality Act 2010. To comply fully with Public Sector Equality Duty local this must include an Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) that should be a working document instigated at the concept stage, use and updated during the consultation and implementation process and eventually used as a tool to measure how effective the Workplace Licensing Scheme has been.

Question 2

Should the regulations specify a list of statutory consultees that local authorities are required to consult?


Yes. In particular the statutory Consultees should include anyone regarded as being in any of the nine protected characteristics within The Equality Act, especially disability, race and gender.  This should also include organisations like SCOTS, MACS (Mobility and Access Committee Scotland), RIBA and RIAS, etc.

Question 3

When local authorities communicate information about new, amended, or revoked WPL schemes, what information should the notices contain?


Local authority should communicate information to the public on any part of a WPL scheme that affects any members of the public, such as, area, times, consequences for employees, costs and exemptions. Without detailing these areas the public at large will not have been given sufficient information.

Question 4

When local authorities communicate information about new, amended, or revoked WPL schemes, where/how should notices be published?


First and foremost all communication must be inclusive (read guidance on inclusive communication). All information regarding a WPL scheme must be accessible for all and as such must be available online, in hardcopy, an easy read, face-to-face (if required) and relayed through interpreters if required.

Question 5

Are there any circumstances where an employer besides the occupier of the premises should be responsible for the charges imposed through a WPL scheme? 


Yes. It is highly likely that blocks of offices, where the occupiers are not always the owners, that have charges put on their employee parking could be the company who are on any particular office block and not necessarily the owners.

If there are blocks of offices that are sharing parking spaces, possibly at different times on the same day, it would need to be clear who is liable for the WPL.

Question 6

Should the rationale and process for a local authority’s review of licensing decisions be wholly set out by the local authority?  


No. As already mentioned in the guidance issued with this consultation there must be a right of appeal for an employer or the owner of a building to be able to appeal a decision of a particular local authority.  Any appeal must be right, proper and transparent and this would not be the case if a local authority adjudicated over its own appeal process.

If there is a dispute between companies/occupiers this may lead to an appeal, and on that basis, it is important for an appeal process to not only be but to be seen to be an open, objective and transparent process.

Question 7

What circumstances/rationale do you consider reasonable for review or appeal of licensing decisions to take place?


When proper consultation and engagement has not taken place or an EqIA has not been carried out and used in the proper manner, as a working document. 

We know from the failings of ‘Spaces for People’ that if a local authority is given carte blanche to put any project in place they will do so without proper engagement and to the detriment of those most at risk of those who can least afford the charges.

Additionally, it may be that the short-term license has been issued and then extended without any further engagement or consultation; in circumstances such as this an external process of appeal is paramount.

Question 8

Do you agree with the approach to penalty charges as outlined under the ‘Penalty Charges’ section above?



Question 9

Do you consider that there should be additional grounds for review or appeal of penalty charges besides those listed under the ‘Penalty Charges’ section above?


Yes. Disabled people parking in blue badge spaces should be exempted from workplace parking charges disabled people should be regarded as essential drivers by we are more often than not it is only means by way of that disabled person can get to the place of employment.

If a local authority has made a mistake or wrongly placed a license on blue badge bays then an avenue of appeal must be available as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

The parents of disabled children should also be considered for exemption of these charges because it is the parent(s) that need have to bear the responsibility for the extra costs involved in bringing up a disabled child as opposed to a non-disabled child (read an article on tackling the disability employment gap).

Consideration should also be given to those on the law of minimum wage who either can’t afford public transport or live in areas where public transport is not available or suitable to enable their journey to work.

Question 10

Which approach to the amount of the penalty charge do you consider more appropriate?

  • A formula for the penalty charge, including a reduction in payment for payment within a certain timeframe or increase in response to delayed payment, should be set in regulations


We need to see some equity and any and all charging regimes and MACS believes that this is not possible if it is left up to individual local authorities.

At present we only have 21 from 32 local authorities who have instigated DPE, for whatever reason, and if we can’t get 32 individual local authorities to agree on the criminalise parking enforcement then it is very unlikely that they are going to agree to a standardised and self-governing charging system.

MACS believes that penalty charges and any and all rules and regulations surrounding such penalty charges should be set in regulations

Question 11

Do you agree with the approach outlined under ‘Accounts’?



Question 12

Do think further regulation on accounts is required?


No. MACS believes that the account regulations set down in the proposals are adequate

Question 13

What positive or negative impacts do you think the WPL proposals outlined within this consultation may have on:

  • particular groups of people, with particular reference to ‘protected characteristics’ listed above
  • children and young people
  • people facing socioeconomic disadvantages
  • people living in island communities

The most significant negative danger of WPL proposals is on people covered under protected characteristics in the equality act 2010, especially disabled people and people on low incomes or minimum wage we are, for disabled people, they must be regarded as essential drivers and for all those on low incomes these charges it is likely to have a significant impact on people’s ability to live their day-to-day lives and dignity and respect and with choice and independence.

People who live on the islands of Scotland are more inclined to have a higher cost of living and as such MACS would urge government to consider any charges very carefully as the impact on the day-to-day lives of those living on the islands could be significant.

MACS realises that the contribution to the net zero carbon reduction program could be positively affected by these proposals but we would add that the caveat must be that disabled people are, and will always be, exempted from such charges. It is recognised that enough, if not, the largest supplier of accessible travel in Scotland is Motability, supplying nearly 65,000 vehicles per year for disabled people. 

Question 14

Do you think the WPL proposals outlined within this consultation are likely to increase, reduce or maintain the costs and burdens placed on business sectors? Please be as specific as possible in your reasoning.


MACS believes that, unfortunately, the financial burden is placed on businesses because of the scheme will be passed on to their employees. This could have a significant impact on many employees depending, of course, on their salary

Question 15

What impacts do you think the proposals outlined in this consultation may have on the personal data and privacy of individuals?


MACS believes that if it is the business or organisation responsible for parking in a work area then there should be no impact on a persons or personal data. However, this would be dependent on the owner or person responsible for parking at workplace not taking individuals to court in the event of either non-payment or refusal to pay.

Question 16

Do you think the WPL proposals outlined in this consultation are like to have an impact on the environment? If so, in what way? Please be as specific as possible in your reasoning.


If WPL reduces the number of vehicles being driven to work and increases use of public transport and the likes of car sharing the impact on reducing carbon emissions could be significant. However, if people are going to change the way in which they travel to and from work for the benefit of the environment then these people need to be rewarded for making such sacrifices and the introduction of workplace charging could be seen negatively.

Question 17

Do you have any other comments that you would like to add on the Scottish Government’s WPL proposals outlined within this consultation?


While MACS fully supports the use of EqIA’s (Equality Impact Assessments) we would actively encourage the quality and the use of EqIA’s as working documents to be used from the concept stage through engagement and consultation to the introduction of WPL’s and used as a primary method to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of Workplace Parking Licensing.

(watch a video on 'EQIA - Mountains for All')