UNISON Scotland has major concerns about Workplace Parking Levys (WPLs). Transport Scotland should ensure that the regulations and guidance require the widest possible consultation with local stakeholders by any local authority looking to implement a WPL scheme, with full transparency. Equalities and accessibility issues must be thoroughly addressed. WPL schemes must be consistent with climate emergency policies and local transport strategies. Employers considering charging employees should be required to only do so as part of fair green travel to work plans negotiated with the relevant recognised trade unions.
WPL schemes must not lead to significant detriment caused to, in particular, low paid workers who may have no alternative to car use unless local public transport is dramatically improved. That improvement is vital and should come first. Any WPLs should be structured to help address transport poverty and absolutely must not make it worse.
We applaud the STUC Our Climate, Our Buses campaign calling on the Scottish Government to provide financial support to local authorities to establish publicly owned bus companies. Rather than subsidising private operators, public funding should support more municipal bus companies. Lothian Buses shows such a model can be extremely successful. Local authorities should be prioritising public transport improvements prior to any move to implementing WPL schemes.