Parking tax set to bite commuters

Commuters face a £350 tax on workplace parking spaces in an attempt to encourage them out of their cars and on to public transport.

The tax is being planned as an alternative to congestion charging because it is thought to be much cheaper and easier to collect, according to The Times. Nottingham City Council is the first local authority planning to introduce the tax. Eight other councils, including Devon County Council, are understood to be considering similar schemes.
Under the Nottingham initiative, employers with more than ten parking spaces will have to pay the tax and most are expected to pass the cost on to staff.

The scheme is widely thought to be more politically acceptable. Unlike the Central London congestion charge, shoppers and other drivers who are not travelling to work will not have to pay.

The Government gave local authorities the power to introduce the tax under the Transport Act 2000 but none has yet done so because it was believed that congestion charging was the best way to control rising traffic levels.

However, the 1.8 million-signature petition against congestion charging on the Downing Street website this year has prompted many authorities to reconsider.