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Boots says parking levies stifle green initiatives

BOOTS THE Chemist used last week's Interchange conference to accuse the Government of stifling green initiatives with the introduction of the workplace parking levy (WPL).

Boots is facing a £4.5M bill over ten years for workplace parking at its new suburban Nottingham HQ despite having invested an estimated £2M in a green travel plan (GTP), prompting the question 'Why should we bother?' from Boots head of facilities management Barbara King.

The GTP at the 120ha site has cut car use by 10% on 1995 levels and increased cycling by a third.

A quarter of the 7,500 staff now car share or use public transport to get to and from the site, which lies 4km from the city centre and is served by limited public transport.

King rejected the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions' recommendation that companies offering GTP's get discounts of up to 20% off their WPL bill.

'Discounts should be at least 120% of cost of GTP to act as an incentive. Ultimately it will be the staff who feel the effect of the levy, and why should they pay for city centre improvements that will be of no benefit to them?'

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