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New parking taxes and congestion charges proposals slammed – 'attack on motorists'

Life & StyleNew parking taxes and congestion charges proposals slammed - 'attack on motorists'

Councillors from the Scottish National Party have pledged to launch a congestion charge in Edinburgh, if they are returned to power in next month’s local elections. This would only apply to drivers from outside of Edinburgh being charged to enter the Scottish capital.

It is hoped this would reduce the number of cars in the city at peak times as well as encourage people to use public transport.

The Scottish Conservatives have also slammed any proposals to introduce a workplace parking levy, which many have described as a car park tax.

The WPL would target any businesses with 50 parking spaces or more and charge them annually to use them.

This cost can be passed down to the employees, with estimates showing it would amount to around £2 per day per space.

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“These attacks on motorists simply cannot continue,” according to The Herald.

More councils are considering introducing workplace parking levies across the UK, with many taking inspiration from the operations in Nottingham.

Nottingham is currently the only city in the UK to have a WPL in place, charging businesses with more than 10 parking spaces £428 every year per space.

This charge increases every year, in line with inflation, with eight out of 10 workers reporting the cost has been passed on to them.

All the money raised from the scheme is invested directly into the public transport system, with trams and trains getting a huge boost since its introduction in 2012.

Mr Ross continued, saying: “For many, particularly in our rural communities like the ones I visited in Argyll and Bute, a car is a necessity not a luxury.

“SNP-Green ministers are increasingly out-of-touch with these communities who have been crying out for years for roads to be upgraded.

“On the SNP’s watch roads have been allowed to crumble due to savage cuts to our local authorities during their 15 years in power.”

He also criticised the “relentless attacks” on those who need to have a car for work, calling moves to make car use harder “increasingly misguided”.

Scotland passed legislation in March which allows individual councils to decide whether to impose an annual tax on car parking spaces provided by employers.

The Scottish Government supports the scheme, saying it will lead to a reduction in congestion and emissions, whilst promoting walking and cycling.

Glasgow Council estimated that it could raise up to £30million a year if it is introduced across the whole city, or up to £6million if it is confined to the city centre.

Despite this, it is believed that it would take around three years to introduce the scheme formally.

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