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Congestion in Nottingham costs an estimated £160 million to the local economy in lost time and revenue every year, with more than half of this cost falling to businesses. Commuters account for around 70% of congested peak traffic.
Traffic congestion is predicted to grow in and around Nottingham over the coming years, meaning that this problem will only get worse.
Money raised from the Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) will be ring fenced for local transport improvements. The WPL will provide funding for NET Phase Two (the extensions to the existing tram system) the redevelopment of Nottingham Railway Station (the Hub project) and is also intended to support the popular Link bus network.
The WPL and the benefits it will make possible will help to control the problems associated with traffic congestion, while promoting and encouraging the use of more sustainable, environmentally friendly forms of transport.
NET Phase Two alone, when it is completed, will serve around 1,800 workplaces in Nottingham to which some 55,000 employees regularly commute. The Link bus network provides more than 6 million passenger journeys a year, and the Hub project will modernise the Railway Station in order to make it an attractive gateway into the city.
The WPL will encourage commuter travel planning, and means that employers are more likely to consider how their staff get to and from work, introduce or improve staff travel planning schemes, and manage their car parks effectively, all of which should have a positive impact on traffic growth.
The WPL is a demand management tool, which focuses on commuter parking, a main cause of congestion, particularly at peak periods and encourages the uptake of travel plans and responsible parking management policies.
WPL applies as a land use planning tool, by encouraging employers to give stronger consideration of the development potential of their land, and the cost of land used as parking in the city.
WPL represents a financially efficient, high value for money proposal, with relatively low development costs and shorter implementation timescales than alternative charging mechanisms.
This is particularly important in terms of securing NET Phase Two implementation in the most cost effective manner, in line with the proposed delivery programme and associated budget projections. Significant delay to NET Phase Two delivery would result in substantial cost increases and a risk to the successful realisation of the project.