Workplace parking charge set to become law despite challenge

MSPs are expected to grant final approval to the Transport (Scotland) Bill.

Parking: MSPs are expected to grant final approval to the Transport (Scotland) Bill. <strong>Pixabay</strong>
Parking: MSPs are expected to grant final approval to the Transport (Scotland) Bill. Pixabay

Legislation to bring in a series of transport reforms, including the ability for councils to introduce controversial workplace parking charges, is set to be passed at Holyrood.

MSPs are expected to grant final approval to the Transport (Scotland) Bill after considering scores of amendments to the legislation in a seven-hour session on Wednesday

The bill will give Scotland’s local councils the power to introduce a workplace parking levy, a measure that was written in after the Scottish Greens agreed to back the minority SNP administration’s budget.

It remains in the legislation after a last-ditch bid to remove the charge was defeated by SNP and Green MSPs – with Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats all having voted for it to be removed.

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The Bill will also give councils powers over creating and enforcing new low emission zones, the provision of bus services to meet social needs, and a ban on pavement and double parking.

Speaking ahead of the vote, Scottish Green MSP John Finnie said his party had helped shape the bill to become a “more empowering” piece of legislation than it had been in its earlier stages.

“When the Transport Bill was first published it was lacking ambition,” he said.

“I’m delighted therefore that we’ve been able to bring pressure to bear to make it a much more empowering piece of legislation.

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“On buses, Scotland has for far too long allowed private operators to call the shots, cutting services at a whim and leaving communities cut off.

“I’m pleased that we’ve finally ditched Thatcher’s disastrous bus laws and delivered the power to local councils to run their own services.

“This will allow local communities to directly hold their local representatives to account for the quality of the services they receive.”

Mr Finnie added: “The new powers over workplace parking levies will allow local government in our biggest cities to tackle congestion, air pollution and the climate emergency.

“Councils have been asking for these powers for years, and I’m delighted that Greens have been able to deliver this simple and effective change, which will raise much needed funds to improve local public transport services.”


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