Alastair Dalton: Devil in the detail for Scottish parking levies

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Charging firms for parking spaces has been a money spinner for the only British city to introduce it so far, but whether it has reduced traffic is contested.

Nottingham City Council has raised more than £50 million since its scheme was launched seven years ago – the kind of significant income stream Edinburgh had hoped for with its attempt to introduce congestion charging 14 years ago.

Nottingham, which will charge companies with more than 11 spaces £415 a space this year, has used the cash to help fund an extension to its tram system and overhaul its rail station. Hounslow in London is planning a levy of up to £1,000.

It is not surprising Edinburgh and Glasgow councils have lobbied the Scottish Government to allow them to do the same.

Previous transport minister Humza Yousaf revealed in 2017 his officials were in touch with Nottingham about the benefits of a levy.

It comes as a reversal of official policy since the Scottish Executive Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition ditched its plans in 2000, claiming they had no support.

Professor Tom Rye, from Edinburgh Napier University, said Nottingham had seen “significant modal shift to public transport, walking and cycling”.

However, the AA said the impact on congestion had been “minimal”.

The motoring body said more workers would quit their jobs than leave their cars at home. But the devil will be in the detail. How much will the levy be in Scotland and will employers pass it on to staff?