The UK’s leading sustainable transport campaign group, Campaign for Better Transport, has visited Nottingham as part of celebrations for fifty years of campaigning and to see for itself how the country’s only Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) has revolutionised how people travel around the city.
As Director for External Affairs, Norman Baker finally got a chance to experience Nottingham’s tram network – which Transport Secretary 2010-2013, he gave final approval to for an extension doubling its size.
Representatives from the national campaign group toured locations including to see Nottingham’s award-winning sustainable transport as operators battle to win passengers back post-Covid, and to hear about the city’s plans for the future, including the proposed redevelopment of the Queen’s Medical Centre – the UK’s only hospital with its own tram stop.
Since the introduction of Nottingham’s Workplace Parking Levy in 2012 – the first scheme of its kind in Europe – it has directly raised over £90m and helped to lever in more than £1bn of inward investment in sustainable transport for the city.
A new impact report shows how in its first ten years the WPL has played a part in constraining congestion growth by 47%, saving the city £15m per year, and contributed towards improved air quality and Nottingham’s ambition to become the first carbon neutral UK city by 2028.
It has directly or indirectly contributed towards:
- A £60m redevelopment of Nottingham Station incorporating trams, trains, buses, taxis and escooters
- The £570 m investment in the Nottingham Express Transit tram network to extend south and west to Clifton and Beeston
- An investment of £200m in electric buses
- Lowering carbon emissions by 58% since 2005 and improving air quality, meaning Nottingham has avoided a Government-imposed Clean Air Zone while cities like Birmingham, Bath and Sheffield have had to start charging drivers.
Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Transport and Parks, Councillor Audra Wynter, said: “Nottingham is a world-renowned leader in excellent public transport – a city where it’s easy to get around in a green, affordable and sustainable way.
“It was an honour to host the Campaign for Better Transport and talk through our radically transformative Workplace Parking Levy and its many benefits.
“We know that we as a country need to change our transport habits as we work to lower our emissions and become sustainable, and Nottingham continues to lead the way towards that better future.”
Michael Solomon Williams, Campaigns Manager from Campaign for Better Transport, said: “We were delighted to visit Nottingham, which is setting an example for integrated local transport of which it should be very proud. Having advised the council team on implementation of the Workplace Parking Levy, it is fantastic to see that this progressive approach to public transport funding has proven to be such an outstanding success, enabling funds to be directed straight back into public transport provision.
It is significant that businesses are now flocking to Nottingham because of the transport network, and this should give the Treasury pause for thought. Nottingham can also boast contactless multimodal ticketing, the only hospital in the country with its own tram stop, transformative plans for the city centre with the Broad Marsh development connecting to trains and trams at the station, and award-winning bus drivers. We were delighted to meet National Bus Driver of the Year, Jonathan Smallman, an example to all aspiring bus drivers and a superb representative of a truly trail-blazing city.’
Rt Hon Norman Baker, Director of External Affairs for the Campaign for Better Transport (and former Transport Minister), said: “I was delighted…at last…to be able to travel on the tram extension I authorised money for when a minister some ten years or so ago.”