Greens urge support across Parliament for workplace parking levy

Green MSPs have called on opposition parties at Holyrood to ditch their “politically motivated opposition” to the planned new workplace parking levy.

John Finnie, the party’s Holyrood transport spokesman, made the plea as it was confirmed more details of the scheme will be revealed later this week.

The Scottish Government agreed it would back the measure as part of a deal to win the Greens’ support for its latest budget.

Amendments will be lodged to the Transport Bill, currently going through Holyrood, to give local authorities the power to introduce a charge on workplace parking.

Other opposition parties have spoken out against the move, with Tories claiming such a scheme could cost workers up to £500 a year.

But Mr Finnie insisted the growing need to tackle climate change and reduce emissions means rival politicians must get behind the measure.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon used her speech to the SNP conference in April to declare a “climate emergency” – with her party citing the environment as a reason for ditching long-standing plans to cut air passenger duty.

Mr Finnie said: “It’s very welcome that the Scottish Government recognises that declaring a climate emergency changes everything and they have moved quickly to abandon their plans to cut air passenger duty, after pressure from the Greens.

“The same must also apply to other parties, who should now drop their politically-motivated opposition to giving councils the power to introduce a workplace parking levy – a power that already exists elsewhere in the UK and, where it has been used, has cut congestion and pumped millions into public transport. They should examine why their parties trust English councils with these powers but not Scottish councils.

“This is the first test for Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories. They say they recognise there’s a climate emergency, so today they need to show they understand what that actually means.”

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