A workplace parking spot in Edinburgh could cost motoring commuters up to £650 a year

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New parking charges aimed at discouraging people from driving to work in Edinburgh could raise up to £19 million a year, according to council officials.

Under the Edinburgh City Council proposals, charges of between £450 and £650 would be made for each parking spot used by a commuter.

The city’s transport leader pledged to protect those in low paid jobs or shift workers – and one option could be to only impose the charge on workplaces which have more than 50 parking spaces.

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Transport convener Scott Arthur said: “If it’s going to go ahead it’s our duty to make it work as much as possible for the city.”

Earlier this year the Scottish Government granted local authorities powers to roll-out a Workplace Parking Levy (WPL), which would see motorists charged hundreds of pounds to park at work if the cost is passed on by employers.

Potential options for the introduction of the charge in Edinburgh will be presented to members next week.

It is anticipated the transport and environment committee will vote in favour of exploring the scheme further in July.

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A report has set out a range of options, which include only enforcing the levy on ‘big’ workplaces with 50 or more parking bays.

Councillors hope to end scenes like this and invest millions in Edinburgh's public transport networkCouncillors hope to end scenes like this and invest millions in Edinburgh's public transport network
Councillors hope to end scenes like this and invest millions in Edinburgh's public transport network

Officials have estimated that up to £13.8m could be generated if the WPL boundary encompassed the entire City of Edinburgh local authority area, with businesses with fewer than 50 spaces exempt.

In the event of the scheme only impacting the city centre, defined by the council ward boundary, up to £1.92m could be raised.

If that boundary was expanded to include Leith Walk and Inverleith, this could increase the yield to up to £3.16m.

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And according to the report the maximum amount raised by enforcing the levy on all Edinburgh workplaces with no exemptions would be £18.9m.

This could allow the council to borrow upwards of £100m for investment in Edinburgh’s transport network.

Despite opposition to the scheme by the minority Labour administration, which did not include proposals for a WPL in their 2022 manifesto, councillor Arthur said members “have to accept the democratic wishes of the council”.

He also stated the annual base charge for workplace parking “should be higher than a bus pass” to encourage more people to use public transport.

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