Workers in Glasgow city centre may be forced to pay to bring their car to work in future.

Glasgow councillors are to consider proposals for a Workplace Parking Levy, which could eventually result in businesses being charged for employees who bring their cars into the city centre and use office car parks. 

Similar schemes in other cities - such as Nottingham - have led to many employers passing the cost onto employees. 

The proposals will go before the local authority’s Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction policy committee next week.  

If voted through, the authority would still have to petition the Scottish Government for the powers to introduce any levy, which could become available to councils once the Transport Bill is passed.

Edinburgh recently became the first city in Scotland to announce it is considering a Workplace Parking Levy.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "We are entering a period where national transport policy is aimed squarely at reducing emissions - including phasing out petrol and Diesel engines and encouraging the use of electric vehicles, particularly in urban areas. Glasgow will create the country's first Low Emission Zone at the turn of the year.

"However, employers providing workplace parking could be considered a powerful incentive for the use of private cars to drive before other forms of travel.

"Members will get an update on the current debate and an opportunity to consider whether councils should seek powers to impose a levy in the future."

The proposed levy has been welcomed by Environmental Protection Scotland (EPS) if the funds raised and put back into improving the railways, buses and leads to better, safer city centre cycle routes to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home.

The Glasgow-based charity also called for careful consideration and wider consultation by the community, including businesses, to ensure a levy doesn’t lead to more overcrowding on buses and trains and damages the city’s economy.

EPS Policy and Communications Officer John Bynorth said: “A Workplace Parking Levy is an additional tool the City Council can enforce to complement its Low Emission Zone, but a joined up approach is required to ensure it contributes to improving health of its workers and improving public transport.

“The annual charge is paid on behalf of an employee by their employers so they can bring their vehicle into an office car-park in a city centre. The levy is collected from companies as part of their business rates, but it can then be collected from the employees who drive into work from their wages.

 “It’s vital communities, businesses and transport providers are consulted on a workplace parking levy to ensure that large numbers of vehicles are not simply being shifted from being parked in city centre car-parks to residential areas on the outskirts of Glasgow, from where motorists can simply complete their journey by catching the train, bus or Subway.

"Such a move could impact on communities by potentially leading to worse air pollution, particularly around schools, increased congestion and parking problems.

“A workplace parking levy needs to be part of a wider strategy to encourage people to consider public transport, cycling or walking to work, which would encourage them to be fitter and lead more active lifestyles.

“This can be achieved by the money from the cash raised by a levy being spent on better quality and more frequent bus and train services to encourage more commuters to use public transport, as has been achieved successfully in Nottingham, where the workplace levy on employers is currently £402 per space.

“We would also be keen to find out if electric vehicles would be exempt from a Workplace Parking Levy as they are far less polluting than petrol and diesel vehicles.

“Glasgow is making great strides to improve the city’s air quality with the introduction of its LEZ from December 31, and a workplace parking levy is potentially a good idea. However, the impact of such an initiative needs thorough consideration and consultation.”