Leicester City Council has launched a consultation over a scheme that could see companies charged for car parking spaces.
The proposed Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) would see employers with more than 10 spaces charged £550 per space per year for a licence to provide car parking for their employees.
The council hopes the scheme will help meet environmental and air quality targets, and also reduce congestion in the city centre.
The income from a WPL could be around £95m over the first 10 years, and would enable the city council to match-fund with other grants to invest up to £450m in long-term transport investments.
Leicester deputy city mayor leading on transport and the environment, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: ‘A Workplace Parking Levy has been a consideration for some time in terms of addressing the city’s present and future transport needs, and it is clear it could play a major role in financing the kind of improvements set out in the draft Leicester Transport Plan, which are vital if we are to meet both the city’s transport needs and its environmental obligations.
‘Nottingham City Council has valuable experience of a WPL over the last 10 years or so, which is why we’ve been working closely with them in designing a scheme for our own city.
‘The benefits of reducing traffic in the city are easy to see – anyone commuting during the school holidays can see how much difference even a 10 per cent drop in vehicle numbers makes.
‘Of course, people need to know there’s a reliable, convenient public transport system available if they are to be persuaded to leave their cars at home, and the money raised by a WPL would enable us to make huge steps forward in delivering that over the coming years.’
Over the summer Leicester City Council carried out initial consultations into a possible scheme. An extensive 12-week public consultation has now been launched.
‘We are encouraged by the initial feedback we received over the summer and now really want to hear from people across the city to know what they want from such a scheme, and how to make it work as best as it can for Leicester,’ added Cllr Clarke.
‘The Government would have to give us approval to bring in a scheme, but the more people take part in this consultation, the better chance we have of ensuring it can address local needs.’