Motorists could have to pay £250 a year to park at work
Motorists could be hit by a £250 a year bill as local authorities actively consider taxing them for parking a car at work.
The Workplace Parking Levy is likely to still make it into the law books despite the new Government's transport secretary Philip Hammond promising to end the 'war on motorists' when he took on the job in May.
Nottingham will be the first city to introduce the scheme, with businesses set to be hit with a £253 charge from 2012, with the cost rising to £301 by 2014. It will affect all companies with 11 or more parking spaces, which is said to be around 15 percent of the employers in the city.
The money would apparently be used to improve the transport links in and out of Nottingham, with two more tram links set to be introduced and the main train station also due for a redevelopment.
It is not known whether companies will pass the charge on to employees or not, with Jane Urquhart of Nottingham City Council saying: "If your employer is liable it is their decision whether to pass the levy (about £1 per day to begin with) onto employees."
Other cities have also considered similar schemes, with an investigation by The Telegraph showing that councils in Bristol, York, Devon, Hampshire, Leeds, Bournemouth, South Somerset and Wiltshire have all look at introducing the charge.
Several are thought to be waiting to see how the tax is received in Nottingham, but are still considering it seriously, with Leeds officials saying it is viewed as an "important consideration in formulating a long-term strategy".
A spokesman for Nottingham admitted that: "Reaction from businesses has been negative as you would expect."
"It is the wrong tax in the wrong place at the wrong time," said David Frost, the director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce. "This is the worst possible time for it to be introduced as we are trying to get businesses to grow all over the country."
The tax was originally due to be introduced this year, but according to the Nottingham spokesman it was delayed due to the recession. It will not be put to local residents in a referendum. Manchester voted against introducing a congestion charge in 2008.