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Getting The Bill Right: Transform calls for Parking Levies in Government’s Transport Bill

Published 29 May 2018 by Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland has today released its new report on the Scottish Government’s Transport Bill. The Bill is due to be published within the next few weeks.

The report, Getting The Bill Right, sets out a number of recommendations to deliver a Transport Bill which is fit for purpose and delivers a transformation in Scotland’s transport system.

Among other things, the report calls for the introduction of Private Non-Residential Parking Levies. Such a Levy may take the form of a Workplace Parking Levy, the successful implementation of which in Nottingham, demonstrates how funds raised through the scheme can be reinvested to deliver affordable and reliable public transport. Powers for Workplace Parking Levy schemes are available for English local authorities but not currently for Scottish councils.

Other recommendations included in the report include:

  1. Creating a new decriminalised offence to enforce bus lanes and cycle lanes
  2. Allowing local authorities to take on lane rental powers and permit schemes (in order to cut disruption from road works)
  3. Simplifying local authorities’ powers for improving local transport
  4. Introducing a nationwide smart ticketing scheme
  5. Implementing a ban on pavement parking.

Commenting on the publication of Getting The Bill Right, Colin Howden, Director of Transform Scotland, said:

It is by now clear that the previous transport bills passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2001 and 2005 were ineffective in cutting congestion or pollution, or reversing the decline in bus use. This year’s Transport Bill provides an important opportunity to start turning round some of these problems. We look forward to welcoming many of the measures expected to be contained in the Bill. However, we are keen that it be strengthened so that, unlike the earlier transport Acts, this new Transport Bill provides effective powers to achieve a transformation in how our transport system functions.”

Professor Tom Rye of Edinburgh Napier University’s Transport Research Institute advised Transform Scotland on preparation of its report. Professor Rye commented:

Parking levies are one of the most effective ways to control the use of private cars in urban areas. Nottingham City Council’s Workplace Parking Levy scheme has resulted in a significant modal shift to public transport, walking and cycling, and has raised over £25 million for the city’s transport infrastructure. At a time where Local Authority budgets are increasingly stretched and funding for sustainable transport infrastructure is limited, parking levies offer a clear solution to fund improved transport infrastructure whilst simultaneously tackling issues with air pollution, carbon emissions and congestion.”

Getting The Bill Right can be found here.