Business leaders have welcomed “tremendous relief” after the leader of Birmingham City Council ruled out a parking levy in the city.
Council leader John Clancy has rejected a workplace parking levy – charging hundreds of pounds a year to park cars – after it emerged it was being considered.
The levy has had a mixed reception in Nottingham where it was introduced in 2012 for all businesses with more than ten parking spaces. They are charged £375 a year per car with the revenue, about £9 million last year, invested in new tram lines and bus routes.
It came in for criticism from the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) – which has now praised the pledge from Coun Clancy.
Stephanie Wall, the chamber’s senior policy and patron adviser, said: “This has come as a tremendous relief to businesses in Greater Birmingham.
“The cost for all firms with more than 11 employees would have been prohibitive. Businesses are already struggling to cope with additional cost pressures from the recent introductions of Auto Enrolment and the National Living Wage.
“Businesses are still battling to maintain and increase turnover and need every advantage they can get.
“A parking levy would have been a charge too far, especially at a time when there is so much uncertainty around the outcome of the EU referendum, which is denting business confidence.”
The prospect of a parking levy, as part of wider plans to cut congestion, was raised after it emerged the council’s transport watchdog committee had considered it.
At the time, committee chairman Coun Victoria Quinn (Lab Sparkbrook) said that the levy should be looked at. “Nottingham’s work place parking levy is a fantastic initiative and paying for a city council run bus network.”
However, Coun Clancy has drawn a line under the concerns, after business leaders said it threatened growth.