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Transport Policy: More Like a Mystifying Odyssey!!

August 1, 2009
Congestion Charge Yippee Bikes Go Free....

Congestion Charge Yippee Bikes Go Free....

Chester, England – I love Great Britain in particular our current Government which never ceases to amuse with its inability to produce anything that can be considered joined up.

For instance. A couple weeks ago  Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, announces  that he wants to build an extra 4,000 wind turbines – the equivalent of one every day for 11 years. Ok that’s fine except that the next day Britain’s only significant wind turbine maker Vestas says that it is to close down its factory in Newport on the Isle of Wight making more than 600 workers redundant. This means that all the new turbines will be built overseas – mainly in Germany, Denmark and China. Bit of a lack of communication there Ed particularly when you promised recession busting jobs in Britain’s new ‘green energy’ industry.

Returning to Transport Policy. This week the UK Government announced that is to proceed with its plans for motorists in Nottingham to face Britain’s first workplace parking levy. Parking levy?? That’s the one where you get charged several hundred pounds a year to use the office or factory car park. Nottingham will initially charge £250 a year per parking space starting in 2012. Within two years the bill will rise to £350 and it will be imposed on all companies with 11 or more staff parking places. This is a congestion busting strategy with all the income being spent on improving public transport infrastructure to woo people away from the car and onto, buses, trains trams etc. Other cities are expected to follow the example of the Nottingham scheme with Milton Keynes, Exeter, Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield all considering schemes.

Now the good news is that Nottingham parking levy scheme will give motorcycles and scooters a 100% exemption i.e. we won’t pay, incidentally we have the same 100% exemption for the London congestion charging scheme. With luck and lobbying this will mean we won’t have to pay in any of the other cities considering a scheme. This leaves us with a somewhat disjointed national policy on motorcycle and scooter parking fees.  As it appears that the cities considering introducing a parking levy, from which motorcycles and scooters will be exempt, are also those considering charging motorcyclists and scooterists to park based on the Westminster City Council model.

I am to say the least confused!!

© Back Roads Rider 2009

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Simonwb permalink
    August 2, 2009 6:54 pm

    Good news about the exemption for bikes in Nottingham, I feel a bit more disposed towards the scheme now. When I first heard about the workplace parking levy, I thought it the crudest way possible of raising cash for the city’s trams. But what will be the unintended consequences, I wonder. Will the smaller employers, say those with 15 car parking places, change 5 of those to bike bays, so they won’t have to pay the levy, for example? Could be interesting; keep us posted, backroadsrider.

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