A Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) is being proposed because such a scheme has proved elsewhere in the UK to help reduce traffic congestion and to fund alternative, less polluting ways to travel than by car.

A WPL will raise money for significant public transport improvements which benefit everyone wanting to travel in the area, including people living outside of the city. It also helps support the employers and employees who pay the WPL to travel in new ways, through grants or travel discounts. For just £11.50 a month per vehicle, the levy will help fund a sustainable transport system into the future. The success of Nottingham’s use of the WPL is widely reported; you can read one example in this publication: Forbes magazine Oct 17, 2019.

  • Examples of Benefits to Employees

    • Big discounts on bus fares

    • Discounted Park & Ride car parking

    • Reserved Park & Ride car parking

    • Discounts on bike purchases

  • Examples of Benefits to Employers

    • Grants for on-site sustainable transport improvements (e.g cycle parking, showers, lockers)

    • Grants for on-site car parking management (e.g. monitoring and enforcement systems)

    • Access to a Travel Plan advisor to help explore car shares or other travel ideas.

  • Examples of Benefits for Everyone

    • Fewer cars on the road producing better air quality

    • Fewer cars creating space to make cycle lanes

    • Faster travel times for existing bus services

    • Funding to pay for new bus routes

    • Funding for enhanced cycle lanes & walking routes

What is a Workplace Parking Levy?

Although a Workplace Parking Levy in Oxford wouldn’t be applied in all areas of the city or to all employers, it would, together with the traffic filters we are proposing, play a crucial role in improving travel and air quality in the city.

Even though Covid-19 has changed the way we work, because of housing and population growth we know that traffic congestion will increase and stifle Oxford unless we plan carefully now. You can read more about the plan by going to this online document: Connecting Oxford .

People who pay the Workplace Parking Levy will be offered significant discounts on their bus fares and the cost of Park & Ride.

How does a Workplace Parking Levy help reduce traffic and improve accessibility?

Icon of a bus, a bike and a commuter walking to work to show how a workplace parking levy will encourage new ways of travelling to work

Where employers choose to pass the charge on to employees who park at work, it encourages them to travel by walking, cycling, or by using public transport, thereby helping to reduce traffic.

Icon of cars wedged together to show how a workplace parking levy will help reduce traffic congestion

Where employers choose not pass on the charge, they may instead reduce the amount of staff parking they provide, as this will save them money every year on their work place parking levy charge. Not only does this keep cars off the road, it also means that land currently used for car parking could be redeveloped for other uses.

Icon of a roundabout to show how workplace parking levy will help to pay for improvements to transport infrastructure

It delivers a predictable, locally controlled source of transport funding to pay for important transport projects such as new and improved bus services and cycle routes.

What areas would be covered by the Workplace Parking Levy in Oxford?

At the moment, it is proposed only for employers in the eastern arc of Oxford, the area highlighted in green in this map:

Workplace Parking Levy Map

Why has this area been proposed for a Workplace Parking Levy?

The eastern arc has the highest amount of workplace parking; it accounts for just under half of the city’s commuter car parking spaces. However, it also has the weakest non-car transport links in the city generating a significant amount of the traffic and congestion in and around Oxford.

The area is an irregular shape because it follows the path of a proposed core route for new high frequency bus services, which will link major employers in the area to Park & Ride sites and the larger towns in Oxfordshire.

The area covers everywhere within the ring road that is within around 10 minutes’ walking distance from the core bus route.

The exact area to be covered by the levy will be discussed with businesses and stakeholders in and close to the area as the Connecting Oxford plans are progressed.

How would employees manage without their cars?

The idea is to make travelling to work without a car feel much easier, faster, more reliable and pleasant than it is at present.

The employees of businesses and organisations who pay the levy will benefit directly from the funds it raises and the new services it helps to provide, such as new, more direct bus routes.

There will be grants available to help introduce facilities in the workplace, such as secure cycle parking, showers or lockers. There will also likely be discounts on bus fares, park and ride parking and travel as well as discounted bike purchases.

At the same time, new cycle or walking routes will connect different areas and make it much easier to travel by bike or on foot across Oxford. More connected routes and safer cycle lanes will allow for commuters to travel by bike across the city, while also providing more space for pedestrians to walk to work. They will also experience improved air quality while travelling on their routes due to a decrease in congestion levels.

Whilst businesses who pay the levy and their employees will receive direct benefits from the funds it raises, the changes the levy supports will benefit everyone.

What about motorbikes?

Exemptions for some vehicles such as motorbikes are being considered. If you have views on this or any other aspects of the WPL please share them on this site: register views and news

How will the positive outcomes of the Workplace Parking Levy build over time?

The levy will raise money to support enhanced public transport services and connections. As more people switch from their cars to travel to work, there will be less congestion. Reduced traffic congestion is essential to release road space which can be used to create cycle space or walkways.

With more, higher quality, well connected cycle lanes and walkways, more people will choose to travel to work by bike, bus, train or on foot. Air pollution will continue to improve and more people choose to enjoy the clean air and convenience of the good cycle routes and great public transport options.

This is why so many changes to transport and travel are being planned in and around Oxford, because they all play a part in transforming air quality and travel connectivity, and need to work together for maximum effect.

Workplace Parking Levy Benefits Infographic

Indicative Eastern Arc bus routes and frequencies

New bus routes would connect areas which currently have poor public transport provision. The proposed routes and connections across the Eastern arc are shown in this map.

With fewer cars on the road and less congestion, bus services will be quicker and more reliable. This would encourage more people to use buses, with levy payers also potentially benefitting from reduced fares and travel passes.

Who would be exempt from paying the Workplace Parking Levy?

Pending further research and discussion, it is likely that employers who provide ten or fewer commuter car parking spaces would be exempt. There may be other exemptions too, such as spaces used by people with disabled parking badges and spaces for businesses’ operational vehicles. If you have any thoughts on exemptions or restrictions, please let us know by going to: register views and news.

How can I suggest changes or improvements?

A group of employers in the eastern arc who would pay the levy have been invited by Oxford City and Oxfordshire County Councils to form a partnership to discuss the Workplace Parking Levy proposal. The first meeting on this partnership took place in January and the next one will be in March 2021. You can make suggestions or register to be involved in consultations or public discussions by clicking on this page: register views and news

If you need would like more information please get in touch