By Robin Pointon, Managing Director of Go Travel Solutions, developer of the SmartGo package
One of the key strategies behind our SmartGo workplace travel package is encouraging low-carbon travel. We’re focused on working with employers, their staff, travel operators and local authorities to facilitate ways in which this can be achieved through a sophisticated approach to travel planning.
As part of this approach, we’ve been watching with interest how the Workplace Parking Levy has developed in nearby Nottingham (Go Travel Solutions has its HQ in Leicester). This clearly informs us about the level of impact that the model would have for other UK cities and on the wider culture of workplace travel.
Nottingham’s project started in 2012 and some of the highlight figures from the project include:
- £25.3 million raised for public transport in three years of operation
- Just 18% of employers pay the levy
- Nottingham’s workplace parking levy is the first of its kind in the UK
- 42% of the city’s workplace parking spaces are liable for the levy
- More than 40% of journeys to work are now by public transport
- Levy has significantly contributed to a 33% fall in carbon emissions
- With the money raised from the levy, Nottingham City Council invested in 45 new electric buses - the biggest fleet in Europe
We believe that the Workplace Parking Levy is an idea that has got merits, predicated on the basis that the investment raised from parking charges means a far better sustainable travel offer. The figures suggest that Nottingham has achieved this so far and there’s not been a clear migration of business away from the city.
Changing travel behaviours can be challenging and the Workplace Parking Levy is clearly forcing the hand of employers in Nottingham to a certain extent. Whereas, SmartGo encourages employers and their staff to consider change through a wide range of discounts and promotions to extend the choices available for travelling to and from the workplace.
However, in some ways, the Workplace Parking Levy shares a vision with SmartGo by helping to reduce car dependency and highlighting the alternatives on offer.
For further reading on the subject of the Workplace Parking Levy, there’s an interesting article from Centre for Cities, a leading think tank dedicated to improving the performance of UK city economies, called ‘Why a Workplace Parking Levy could help solve cities’ transport and congestion problems’ <link to https://www.centreforcities.org/blog/workplace-parking-levy-answer-cities-transport-congestion-problems/>.
For more information on how SmartGo can benefit your business and staff, visit www.smartgo.co.uk