Government plans to permit local councils
to levy a charge for workplace parking would be very damaging to business, local
company directors are warning MPs and councillors.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) has
written to all members of the House of Commons Standing Committee currently
considering the Transport Bill to raise its concerns about the parking charges.
Stephanie Smye, vice-chairman of the
Eastern Branch of the IoD which represents more than 900 Cambridgeshire company
directors, said: "The imposition of hat could amount to a very expensive
total charge in some locations could seriously damage business profitability and
While supporting the Government's plan for
a competitive economy Cambridgeshire directors feat that the parking proposals
will actually work against this.
The Commons Committee is due to debate the
issue of a workplace parking levy and has been considering road user charging.
Miss Smye said: "Even for larger
businesses, one effect of the levy would be higher costs to customers. Many
firms would need to pass on some or all of the cost to their employees. The
workplace parking proposals could be particularly damaging for small and medium
"At present there is a lack of
realistic alternatives to car use in very many locations such as rural areas and
places on the outskirts of Cambridge, Huntingdon and Peterborough. We are
concerned that the parking charge proposals would lead to even greater problems
then they are intended to solve, by way of costs to business and loss of morale
of employees where organisations had to pass on extra charges."
Traffic congestion is very damaging for
many businesses and the IoD has given cautious support for suitable administered
schemes to tackle this, provided they are cat-neutral to business.
Miss Smye commented: "Rather than go
through the expense of enacting the workplace parking levy in the Transport
Bill, with all the likely costs to local authorities of consultation and
possible implementation in coming years, it would be far better to devote public
resources to better schemes. These could in principle include workable road user
charging schemes, where absolutely necessary, if they do not add to the cost
burden on businesses."