News In Focus
MSPs survey views on contentious parking levy
A public survey to gauge views on the Scottish Government's proposed workplace parking levy is being run by the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee.
The proposal to give Scottish local authorities the ability to charge organisations for workplace parking spaces, as can happen in England & Wales at present, emerged from budget negotiations between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party. John Finnie MSP has now lodged an amendment to the Transport (Scotland) Bill, backed by the Scottish Government, which would introduce the necessary legal changes to give councils this additional power.
It has proved contentious, with opponents pointing to costs and difficulties in reaching many workplaces by public transport, while supporters claim environmental and health benefits in discouraging people from commuting by car.
The committee is seeking views from the public to better understand what people think about the measure, as well as holding two evidence sessions on 22 and 29 May to consider how the levy might work in practice. 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.
"Please let us know what you think about the workplace parking levy by visiting www.parliament.scot/WorkplaceParkingSurvey."
The survey is open relatively briefly, unitl Monday 20 May. The amendment itself is likely to be debated and voted on in the committee on 19 June, as part of its stage 2 consideration of the bill.