Fife Council have reaffirmed their position that the controversial workplace parking levy should not be introduced in the region.

The scheme, which could lead to some motorists who drive to work having to pay hundreds of pounds a year for a parking space, has now come into force across the country although it's up to individual councils to decide whether to impose the legislation.

And Fife are ready to park the idea.

Councillor Dave Dempsey said: "Recent reports might give the public the impression that it was a done deal and that the workplace parking levy was going to happen. It’s not."

The Scottish Government and environmental groups believe the initiative, an annual tax on car parking spaces provided by employers, will help reduce congestion and air pollution by encouraging more people to walk, cycle or take public transport to work.

It would also raise much needed cash for local authorities.

But Fife Council have steadfastly opposed such a plan here, and that stance was again underlined during Thursday’s full council meeting.

The issue was highlighted thanks to a motion from Cllr Dempsey and fellow Conservative councillor Tony Miklinski, which was unanimously backed by all elected members.

Cllr Dempsey said he felt the need to table the motion due to recent “media comment and public concern”, with the council last formally outlining its stance on the parking levy back in March 2019.  

He said: "It’s down to each individual council.

“While the Conservatives would rule this out for the whole of Scotland, we in Fife can make that decision for Fife. And we have. No levy in Fife. Result.

“We don’t have a single big conurbation into which people flow and we have journeys going in all directions at once, which is necessary because public transport can’t cope with that sort of scenario too well.”

Transport Secretary Jenny Gilruth told a Holyrood committee in February that it was important for local authorities to be able to look at their own local circumstances and decide what, if anything, to charge.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are already examining whether to introduce the levy – with Glasgow estimating that it could raise up to £30 million a year if it is introduced across the whole city, or up to £6m if it is confined to the city centre.

However, the council also believes it would take at least three years to introduce the scheme.

The Scottish scheme was largely inspired by a similar initiative that was introduced in Nottingham in 2012 as part of efforts to reduce traffic congestion in the city.

It currently sees employers who provide more than 10 parking spaces for their staff pay £428 every year to the city council for each space, with the charge increasing each year in line with inflation.

The tax has raised about £9m a year since it started, with the money required by law to be spent on sustainable transport projects such as an extension to the city’s tram system and the redevelopment of its main train station.