Examination of Witnesses (Questions 13
WEDNESDAY 23 OCTOBER 2002
ELPHICK OBE, COUNCILLOR
13. Good afternoon to you all. Thank you very
much for coming. For the record I am going to ask you to identify
yourselves. Perhaps you would start on my left and your right.
(Councillor Edwards) Michael Edwards, City Councillor,
Nottingham City Council, Member of Transport Salaried Staff.
(Ms Flack) Sue Flack, Planning and Transport Strategy
Manager at Nottingham City Council.
(Mr Elphick) Roger Elphick, Head of the Highway Management
Services, Durham County Council.
(Councillor Ross) Don Ross, Deputy Leader, Durham
(Councillor Holland) I am Helen Holland. I am the
Deputy Leader of the Bristol City Council.
(Mr Rawlinson) I am Richard Rawlinson. I am the Head
of Traffic and Transport, Bristol City Council.
14. Thank you very much. Did any one of you
wish to make one or two opening remarks, or may we go straight
(Councillor Ross) I would like to invite you to Durham
to see how the road charging system is working and would show
you what we mean by Durham hospitality if you do come up.
15. That is very kind. I have no doubt that
the Committee would consider that very seriously, but not this
afternoon. First, may I ask Nottingham why you have decided to
adopt a workplace charging levy rather than road charging? Miss
(Ms Flack) Because the Transport Act 2000 offers us
the opportunity of looking at both schemesor either schemeand
the Workplace Parking Levy for Nottingham better meets the Council's
objectives and particularly allows certain things to happen. For
example, we can start the levy low so that it can be an incremental
and management process rather than the high amount of investment
and, we think, risk that is involved in a road user charging scheme.
Added to that, Nottingham's geography does not particularly suit
a road user charging scheme and the Workplace Parking Levy follows
very much along the parking policy lines that we have been following
for the last few years, particularly in our work with companies
on commuter and travel plans.
16. You have actually done this once before,
I seem to recall, in some detail with some of the businesses in
your area and encountered some problems with the Inland Revenue.
(Ms Flack) Yes, that is right.
17. Is there a danger that workplace charging
is going to encourage businesses to locate either outside the
city centre or somewhere else in the region?
(Ms Flack) We have been looking at that issue; that
is an important issue. We would not want to introduce a scheme
which had anything like that effect. The evidence that we have
gained so far which is from a survey but also from evidence from
talking to companies, for example there is one very large company
which has just recently decided to expand in Nottingham who have
said that they considered the Workplace Parking Levy and they
decided that does not have an effect that is big enough to detract
from the attractions of the city in terms of its overall management,
its labour pool and its transport.
18. As I understand the situation, am I right
in thinking that Boots are major employers in Nottingham and they
have a large car parking area with Park and Ride in their particular
establishment. Have you had representations from business on this,
like Boots, like local employers, and what have they generally
been saying about workplace parking?
(Ms Flack) Boots are very much opposed to the Workplace
Parking Levy and have worked with the Chamber of Commerce in the
city and county on a campaign against the Workplace Parking Levy.
Having said that, there are some other companies in Nottingham
which prefer not to join that campaign but prefer to work with
the city council on trying to come to a consensus solution. In
fact, Boots itself is a very active member of the Greater Nottingham
Transport Partnership which does not support the Levy but does
support the transport vision that we are trying to fund.
19. Has there been any evidence that local employers
are taking out parking spaces to avoid paying this particular
charge and therefore making life rather more difficult for their
employees to find places to park?
(Ms Flack) This is where the work we have done on
commuter plans comes in because we have worked now for about ten
years with companies and employers in the city on developing commuter
plans which are all about how to encourage people to use alternative
forms of transport. They have been very successful and we have
a number of employers who have actually reduced their car parking
space during the operation of the commuter plan and have used
that car parking space for expansion or for building or for more
sustainable usage that for car parks. When you reduce parking
with a commuter plan that can make it work, that is a management
solution to that issue.
Mrs Ellman: I would like to question you all
on how you are assisting disable people. Durham, I see that in
your criteria for success you say
Chairman: Before we come on to Durham, I think
there are those who want to ask on this particular bit. Mr Grayling,
was it on this?