Workplace Parking Levy (WPL)

Closed 6 Feb 2024

Opened 15 Nov 2023


This survey is for individuals and households, if you are responding on behalf of a business, please use the business survey.

A new law was introduced from the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 giving councils in Scotland the ability to introduce a Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) in their local area or part of their local area if it decides to.

All the money raised from the WPL must, by law, be invested into improving local transport. Edinburgh has not made any decision on the WPL and your feedback from this survey will inform future choices.

What is a workplace parking levy?

The most serious congestion problems in many towns and cities are associated with peak period commuting. A WPL is a demand management scheme that aims to motivate employers to discourage the provision of free car parking and car commuting and instead raise new funds to support the improvement of alternative modes of transport like public transport and active travel.  

Parking places reserved for Blue Badge holders, for healthcare workers at NHS premises, and parking places at hospices will be exempt from any WPL charges. Local authorities will also be able to exempt groups or premises if they decide to do so.

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 was introduced by the Scottish Government and examined in the Scottish Parliament, giving all Local Authorities in Scotland the discretion to determine:

  • the value of the levy to be charged per liable parking place,
  • the area within the authority boundary the levy would apply to,
  • the day of the week, the time of the day, as well as the type of vehicle and parking premise a levy may apply to.

Further details on what the scheme involves can be found on the Guidance for Local Authorities on a Workplace Parking Levy published by Transport Scotland on 30 June 2022.

Why now?

Edinburgh is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK with a population of over half a million. From 2001 to 2021, Edinburgh’s population has grown by 10.2% or an estimated 48,530 people. The wider Edinburgh City Region has also grown by a further 42,470. According to the Edinburgh’s City Plan there will be by 2030, 37,000 new homes which could add over 75,000 people to Edinburgh’s population. As a main economic hub for the region and country, the city also welcomes many visitors for the purposes of learning, employment and leisure opportunities.

Future growth puts pressure on congestion, affecting journey times for residents and businesses. The cost of congestion and the associated impacts on health from poor air quality will continue to grow in future as more vehicles compete for limited road space.

For businesses the cost of congestion impacts business by extending journey times, later deliveries, and increasing worker time on the road rather than in productive work. Estimates on the cost of congestion from INRIX for Edinburgh in 2019 was reported as being worth 177 million. .

For residents and commuters congestion increases journey times, whether they travel by car or some modes of public transport and active travel. Congestion has an impact on air quality. Studies have linked small particles from road traffic to the cause of a variety of health effects including heart and lung disease, links to premature death, diabetes, dementia, mental health and birth outcomes.

The City of Edinburgh Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019, setting an ambitious target for the city to become net zero by 2030 and to reduce car journey kilometres by 30% in the same period.

We want to make informed decisions about whether a Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) could be an option to help the city achieve its aspirations, and address the future challenges.

We committed in our Local Transport Strategy, called the City Mobility Plan 2021-2030, to consult on the option of a WPL in Edinburgh.

What's next?

We will be reporting the findings from this survey back to the Transport and Environment Committee in early 2024. The Committee will decide whether we proceed to the next stage of consideration.

Future development, if approved, could include to design the specific Edinburgh proposal for a WPL and how we will use the funds generated from the scheme to improve the transport options for workers in Edinburgh. A further impact assessment will be completed on that proposal or proposed options.

Any introduction of a WPL in Edinburgh is therefore potentially years away.

Before an Edinburgh WPL can be introduced, a further 12-week consultation will be required. Once findings are reported back to the Council Committee, a decision will be taken on whether to introduce a WPL in Edinburgh. From this decision date, there is a mandatory and minimum period of examination of eight-weeks.  


  • All Edinburgh


  • Anyone from any background


  • Parking spaces
  • Travel in Edinburgh
  • Economic development