Views sought on workplace parking levy proposals

Views are being sought on plans to allow councils to introduce workplace parking fees.

John Finnie MSP lodged an amendment on Thursday to the Transport (Scotland) Bill, which is backed by the Scottish Government, to give local authorities the new power.

The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee has now launched an online survey to gauge views on the proposal.

Convener Edward Mountain MSP said: “Giving councils this additional power could result in extra financial costs to businesses, public bodies and individual commuters.

“It would also give local authorities who wish to discourage commuting by car an extra tool to achieve this.

“While we know that the idea has divided opinion across Scotland, to help MSPs properly consider this proposal, we want to hear from as many people as possible.”

Mr Finnie added: “There has been a welcome change in emphasis in recent weeks, with the other political parties responding to the youth climate strikers and Extinction Rebellion protests by focusing much more on the climate emergency.

“My amendment will allow Scottish councils to implement a workplace parking levy in our most polluted cities, a power that already exists elsewhere in the UK and, where it has been used, has cut congestion and pumped millions into public transport.

“It is remarkable that the parties who talk so often of the precious Union are the ones who are happy to see English councils enjoy greater powers than their Scottish counterparts.”

The amendment is likely to be debated and voted on in the committee on June 19.

Feedback on the proposals can be given at up until May 20.

Two evidence sessions will also be held on May 22 and 29 to consider how the levy might work in practice.