AUG 99] THE CHAMBER PRESS RELEASE
Chamber Members Protest On Proposed Parking Levy
A survey conducted by Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber reveals that an
overwhelming 91.5 per cent of Coventry businesses are against a proposal to run a pilot
Workplace Parking Levy in the city.
More than 1700 Chamber members were asked to comment
on the potential impact of the proposal, which is already winning support within some
local authorities in the West Midlands.
The scheme is part of the Government's integrated transport
policy, currently undergoing consultation. If introduced, Coventry commuters will be
charged for parking their cars at work.
According to Chamber president, Peter Howden, with costs
estimated at an average £5 per vehicle per week, the levy is set to have a negative
impact on local firms.
"If this scheme goes ahead, the levy will, in effect,
act as a 'back door' tax on employers," he said.
"In practice, it will also involve yet another tier of
paperwork for licensing systems, exemptions and inspections, thus creating a further
"The effects will have most impact on smaller firms
which are the lifeblood of the local economy, and this, we believe, will be damaging to
the competitiveness of the area."
In addition, Mr Howden believes that the move may also
cause friction between employer and employee.
"The results of our survey showed that more than 85
per cent of employers have no intention of paying the levy themselves, and are saying that
they will pass any costs on to their employees."
The survey also revealed that the average number of parking
spaces per firm is 24, while only 42 per cent of firms are located near a major bus route.
"While we are sympathetic with Government aims to
reduce the volume of traffic and pollution, we believe that significant upfront investment
in public transport is needed if motorists' behaviour is to be changed.
"In itself, this levy is likely to cause only
problems, not least for people in residential areas where there are no parking
"It is ironic that the Government has selected the
West Midlands for this pilot, the regional economy most dependent on the automotive
"We are urging the Council to think carefully before
they make their decision about whether or not to vote for the scheme's introduction in
Coventry," he added.
MORE INFORMATION: Dan Carter 01203 654326