Motorists Set to Foot the Bill Again

Campervan drivers in Bristol will be disappointed to learn that they may soon have to pay to park at work even if their companies have a private car park.

Bristol is set to follow in the footsteps of Nottingham Council who charge private companies a levy for the parking bays they have in their city centre locations. The problem is that many companies pass the charge on to their workforce who now find they have to pay a £1 a day to park.

The idea behind the scheme is to raise money to fund local road improvements and is seen as a viable alternative to levying a business tax. Motorists and unions in Nottingham are already protesting over the extra financial burden passed on to the workforce and residents in Bristol will be disappointed to find out they could be next.

Tim Kent, leader of the transport committee on Bristol Council, left motorists in no doubt what would happen when he said: “Bristol City Council wants to use the levy to raise millions of pounds to fund bus only lanes, separated from other traffic, to cut congestion. I have said I don’t want businesses to pay a penny I really believe it should be paid by those who benefit from having a free car parking space in the city centre.”

It is doubtful Bristol Council will introduce the legislation without a fight. Already leaders of trade councils in the city have said workers and trade unions will oppose the levy if it is passed onto staff and there is little wonder. Campervan drivers for instance are already paying more than ever before for fuel and finding it ever more difficult to find cheap campervan insurance. Many workers have not had a pay rise for several years and to have to find an extra £20 a month for parking will be seen as the last straw.

A spokesman for leading motoring organisation the AA said: “These schemes are pure anti motoring opportunism by a minority of local authorities desperate for funds keen to exploit 12 year old legislation. Once again drivers and business are easy targets yet it is they that keep local economies going.”