Council staff face parking charges

Millions of workers across the UK could face a bill of up to £250 a year to park at their offices, according to reports.

Some 10 million staff commute to work each day and could face fees in a bid by councils to bring in extra money and reduce congestion, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Plans to charge staff to park at cities including Bristol, York, Leeds, Devon, Hampshire, Bournemouth, South Somerset and Wiltshire are being considered, the newspaper reports, with Nottingham City Council set to be the first to bring in the levy.

It comes after a post-election pledge by ministers to end Labour's alleged "war on motorists".

It will be up to companies whether they pass the cost on. In a draft strategy, Bristol City Council describes the levy as a "revenue stream" to help fund other transport initiatives.

Under proposals being considered by York City Council, the charge would be paid "by the employer or charged to the employee". In Leeds, officials view the levy as an "important consideration in formulating a long-term strategy".

A Hampshire County Council consultation document says it is considering a "modest" - but unspecified - charge for the south of the region, including Southampton and Portsmouth, to "redress the imbalance between free commuter parking for some staff at office complexes" and "parking for other staff in public spaces where payment is required".

A spokesman for South Somerset District Council said: "Looking at reducing car travel to offices is something we are required to do, and the possibility of introducing some form of parking levy is one of many ideas that have been floated within our council."

In London, a number of councils are said to be attending a seminar next month that has a workplace parking levy on the agenda. Authorities in Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Oxford have all previously expressed an interest.

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