This story out of the UK tells the tale. A very successful firm in Cambridge, a city of 120,000 north of London, asked for approval to turn a concrete slab in the lot next to it into a parking facility for its employees. The slab had been there since the Second World War and seemingly had no other useful purpose. They were told “no.”
Seems the local greens don’t want people driving into the city, and this is a way to keep them out. Yep – It seems it’s going to do that, in spades. The high tech company which makes specialized software has attempted to talk its staff into cycling but as the CEO put it:
The council is not at all helpful when it comes to parking. We have done everything we can to encourage people to cycle, but it is so expensive to live in Cambridge that many of them have to come in by car, but the council will not do us any favours.”
As reader Charles pointed out “I do not know anything about the tax structure in the UK, but I am sure that losing the expansion of a business like this is keeping a ton of tax revenue out of the General Fund….”
I know that this little move will cost Cambridge and the UK a lot of money, not only in rates (property taxes) but also in income tax, sales tax, and the like.
Frankly, I sort of like the idea of charging for parking and allowing the market to run its course. But I’m not sure that in the face of the current economic climate, social engineering like this is the way to go.