Campaigners have written to all five party political leaders expressing support for the Workplace Parking Levy, announced as part of the budget agreement between the SNP and the Greens. The letter, signed by groups such as Friends of the Earth Scotland, WWF Scotland, Sustrans, and Living Streets calls for MSPs to ensure the power is granted to local authorities so that they can decide if it is appropriate for their area.

The letter sets out the key reasons that the environmental and transport groups back the plans that made such a positive difference to transport in Nottingham. It also corrects the misunderstandings and myths about the Parking Levy that have arisen since it was first agreed.

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland said:

“Workplace parking levies have a track record of delivering significant changes to travel habits, bringing much needed investment to transport infrastructure, and creating healthier places to live and work. It is an optional power being offered to councils. It won’t be right for every area, but to combat congestion and air pollution in our city centres, it is an important tool for councils to have available to them.

“12 organisations have written to the 5 party leaders to encourage them to consider the evidence. There is broad support for this policy, from people concerned about air quality to those who want to see concerted investment in public transport.”

Stuart Hay, Director of Living Streets Scotland said:

“Scotland needs to get smarter in how it funds vital infrastructure improvements for buses, cycling and walking. The Workplace Parking levy is a fair way of supporting action to cut chronic congestion and unacceptable levels of air pollution in our cities. A modest charge can give workers with cars alternative commuting options and make companies think more seriously about transport requirements and office location.”

Ellie Harrison from Get Glasgow Moving said:

“Most people in Glasgow don’t have access to a car, yet cars dominate our roads and public space while our public transport is underfunded and overpriced. The balance needs to change. This levy can be used to make large employers pay into improving our bus services, our cycle infrastructure and our trains.

“Investing in public transport is essential for expanding Glasgow’s economy, addressing inequality and social isolation, reducing toxic levels of air pollution and tackling climate change.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The text of the letter is available at https://foe.scot/resource/letter-support-workplace-parking-levy/
  2. The Centre for Cities (2018). Why a Workplace Parking Levy could help solve cities’ transport and congestion problems. http://www.centreforcities.org/blog/workplace-parking-levy-answer-cities-transport-congestion-problems/
  3. 28% of people in Scotland don’t have access to a car and we know that bus users are disproportionately lower paid workers or those seeking employment. Scottish Gov transport statistics https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/transport-and-travel-in-scotland-2017/sct08183658301-31/
  4. It was revealed in January that Scotland’s cities have 7 sites were air pollution is at illegal levels. https://foe.scot/scotlands-most-polluted-streets-in-2018/
  5. Transport is the largest source of climate pollution in Scotland and has barely changed since 1990. https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-greenhouse-gas-emissions-2016/pages/3/
  6. Free to use photos of air pollution protests and Scotland’s most polluted streets are available at https://flic.kr/s/aHskrG52pg
  7. Get Glasgow Moving is the campaign for a world-class, fully-integrated & accessible, publicly-owned, public transport network for everyone in Glasgow. http://www.getglasgowmoving.org
  8. Living Streets is the UK charity for everyday walking. Their mission is to achieve a better walking environment and inspire people to walk more. https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/about-us/scotland
  9. Friends of the Earth Scotland is
    * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
    * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
    * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.