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Frequently asked questions
Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Workplace Parking Levy.
- Why is Nottingham City Council introducing a WPL?
- What will the funding raised from the WPL be used for?
- Why not Road User Charging (RUC) instead?
- Who pays the WPL?
- Does the yearly WPL charge per place include VAT?
- Do public sector employers have to pay?
- When does licensing begin?
- When does charging begin?
- Do we get a discount on the first 10 places?
- What are the exemptions and discounts?
- Will the WPL reduce congestion?
- Will employers affected by the WPL move out of Nottingham?
- Would the WPL affect inward investment?
- What would happen if the WPL was not introduced?
- Why is it fair for the businesses in Nottingham to pay WPL?
- I have 30 marked out parking spaces. Do I need to get rid of them to avoid paying the levy?
- Can I pass on the WPL to my employees?
- My workplace goes across the Nottingham City administrative boundary line; do I have to pay the WPL?
- My employer rents the building and land used for parking from someone else. Who pays - us or the company we are renting from?
- What is Salary Sacrifice?
- Customers and visitors park at our site. Will we have to pay for spaces for customers and visitors?
- Do we need to have marked out areas for staff, customers and visitors?
- Will we have to pay for motorcycles parked on our site? What about mopeds and bicycles?
- Do we have to get a licence for part time staff?
- What happens if people use our car park without our permission?
- What legal powers does the WPL come under?
WPL is part of an overall transport package to tackle congestion, in line with local and regional transport policy. Its aim is to offer realistic alternatives to the use of private cars by delivering high quality sustainable public transport; NET Phase Two, the redevelopment of Nottingham Railway Station (the Hub project) and by supporting the popular Link bus network.
For more information, please click here.
All money raised from the WPL must be invested into improving local transport for Nottingham. 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.
For more information, please click here.
Nottingham City Council considered the Road User Charging (RUC) option carefully, before deciding on WPL as being more preferable.
RUC would take longer to introduce, and would be more expensive, costing more to put in place and to maintain.
RUC would require a charging zone around the city centre, outer suburban areas, or the city boundary, and would therefore discourage shoppers from retail areas, unlike a WPL scheme, as under WPL vehicles used by customers and visitors to businesses aren't charged.
Nottingham City Council has already made a lot of progress in terms of improving public transport and managing transport demand, which meant that WPL was a logical extension of that work.
Given that congestion patterns in Nottingham are strongly connected with travel to work, WPL was seen as a fairer way of tackling congestion than RUC, as it targets vehicles that make up this peak congestion, rather than simply penalising anyone who owns a car and wishes to travel into the city.
Only those employers that provide 11 or more workplace parking places (excluding those for disabled Blue Badge Holders) will need to pay a charge, from 1st April 2012.
The majority of employers in Nottingham will not have to pay a WPL charge, as they will be eligible for the 10 or fewer places discount.
For more information, please click here.
No VAT is payable by the employer on the WPL charge.
If an employer decides to introduce employee parking charges, however, it will be making a taxable supply of parking to its employees and this supply is subject to VAT at the standard rate.
For more information on VAT, tax and salary please click here [29kb].
Apart from the emergency services and qualifying NHS premises, all other public organisations and bodies, including Nottingham City Council, would be treated in the same way as private employers, and would be required to pay a WPL charge if they provide 11 or more workplace parking places (excluding those for disabled Blue Badge Holders).
Employers that provide workplace parking places will need to license these by 1st October 2011. Employers can apply for a WPL licence by clicking here.
Employers that provide 11 or more workplace parking places (excluding those for disabled Blue Badge Holders) will need to pay a WPL charge from 1st April 2012.
No, employers with 11 workplace parking places (excluding disabled Blue Badge Holders) do not get a discount on the first 10 places that they provide, and would pay for all 11 places.
To see a list of the exemptions and discounts, please click here.
The direct impact of WPL on liable employers and their staff is likely to result in a positive but modest impact on congestion. However, when the improvements in public transport that the WPL makes possible such as NET Phase Two are taken into account, the WPL would have a significant impact on congestion.
The WPL package will create an increase in public transport capacity in the Greater Nottingham area contributing to a forecast growth in public transport journeys into the City Centre of over 20% from 2006 to 2021.
Together with the tram, train and bus improvements, the levy is predicted to reduce traffic growth from 15% to only 8%. The number of public transport journeys in and out of the city centre will increase by 20% and the demand for Park & Ride will increase by 45%. The transport improvements will take an estimated 2.5 million cars off our roads by 2015.
It is recognised that there is a general negative view of the WPL, based on the perception that it will increase business costs and present an administrative burden while not guaranteeing transport and wider benefits. However, consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) identified that WPL costs represent a very small percentage of liable employers' turnover (less than 0.5% of turnover for 95% of businesses affected) and on balance advised that WPL would not have a significant impact on employers' investment and location decisions.
Similar concerns were raised before the London Congestion Charge was introduced and regarding schemes similar to the WPL in Australia, but these concerns were not realised following the introduction of these schemes.
Consultants PwC concluded that WPL could adversely impact on the attractiveness of Nottingham to cost sensitive high-tech and service sectors, unless it can be shown that WPL investment will realise real improvements in transport provision. NET Phase Two and bus improvements can achieve this, offering the opportunity for a wider and more mobile employment market with consequent reductions in employment costs.
Employers would have less incentive to minimise their parking provision and encourage more sustainable commuter travel by their staff. Further investment in public transport would be unaffordable, and some current services would have to scrapped. No other funding source is available to fully meet the local contribution required for NET Phase Two, meaning that extending the tram network would not possible.
Nottingham's major employers support the future growth and prosperity of this City. They recognise that congestion costs money and that more tramlines and even better buses are important for tackling congestion.
As commuters are the main cause of congestion in Nottingham, the City Council believes that it is only fair that employers accept their responsibility and proactively manage the traffic going to and from their employment sites and contribute to investment in public transport alternatives to the car. Ultimately employers will benefit from less congestion than otherwise would occur and employees will gain better public transport options.
Marked out parking spaces are different to workplace parking places.
You will need to license any workplace parking places that you provide. A workplace parking places is a place on a premises inside the Nottingham City Council administrative boundary area, that is occupied by a vehicle used by an employee, pupil, student or regular business visitor.
Employers that provide 11 or more workplace parking places may need to pay a charge from 1st April 2012.
Marked out spaces that are empty, or occupied by customers, occasional business visitors or fleet vehicles will not need to be licensed and will not be charged (please see exemptions and discounts).
The employer is responsible for paying the WPL charge, however some employers may choose to reclaim the cost of the charge from their employees who park at work, by, for example, introducing a parking charge, as part of a parking management scheme.
The WPL only applies to workplace parking places that are inside the Nottingham City Council administrative boundary. In a few exceptional cases, some premises are partly inside and partly outside the boundary. The levy only applies to workplace parking places inside the boundary, so some of these will be liable for the WPL, and others won't.
The employer occupying any premises is responsible for paying the WPL charge, regardless of whether they own the building and land or not.
A salary sacrifice agreement is an agreement that is currently available with an employee, where that employee sacrifices part of their salary in return for a benefit, which in this case would be workplace parking.
By doing this, the employee can have access to workplace parking and can also save on tax and National Insurance Contributions that they would otherwise have paid on the amount of their salary that they have agreed to give up in return for the parking place.
For more information on salary sacrifice, please click here [29kb].
Parking places occupied by vehicles used by customers or occasional visitors will not need to be licensed and will not be charged. Parking Places occupied by vehicles used by regular business visitors (such as consultants, contractors, suppliers, agency staff or other business visitors who are regularly parked on site) will need to be included in the employers' maximum vehicle occupancy calculation, when working out how many workplace parking places to license.
The Workplace Parking Levy is based on maximum vehicle occupancy, not on the number of parking spaces you have. You do not need to have marked out areas for staff, customers and visitors; however, you may find this a helpful way to manage your parking.
Motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles are all exempt. You do not need to license these vehicles and will not be charged.
Yes, workplace parking places occupied by vehicles used by part time employees will need to be licensed, and may be liable for a charge.
All vehicles parked at an employer's premises will be regarded as being authorised to park there with the employer's consent unless the employer can prove otherwise. It is the responsibility of all employers to ensure that they manage their workplace parking places effectively. For more information, support, help and advice, please click here.
All Local Authorities have the power to introduce WPL through the Transport Act 2000 [1Mb]. Nottingham is the first Local Authority to do this, and has had the Workplace Parking Levy legislation approved by central government.