THERE are currently no plans to introduce a workplace parking levy in Clackmannanshire, the council leader confirmed as the last-week approved tax received criticism.

The move was approved as part of the wide-ranging Transport Bill and could see motorists driving to work pay for a parking space in a bid to reduce congestion and air pollution.

The Green party said it put pressure on the SNP Scottish Government over the issue, as part of a budget deal earlier this year, as well as on bus laws, but opposition groups criticised the move.

While council leader Councillor Ellen Forson ruled out the introduction of a levy locally, Wee County commuters to Glasgow or Edinburgh could be hit as both cities are considering using the new power.

MSP Alexander Stewart, Mid Scotland and Fife representative for the Conservatives, explained he was “bitterly disappointed” the move was agreed as part of a “back-door budget deal” and that it will hit lower-paid workers.

He said: "Equally disappointingly so far, we have seen Edinburgh and Glasgow signalling that they plan to [impose the levy]; two of the very cities where many of my constituents already travel to work, with many of those who work shifts having to drive their cars during the times when no buses or trains are running."

MSP Alex Rowley, Mid Scotland and Fife for Labour, hoped to remove the levy from the bill at committee stage but was not supported.

He said it was “nothing more than a tax on workers”, as while the levy will be imposed on firms, they can choose to pass it on to employees.

Mr Rowley urged taking the bus or train is not always an option and added: “Taxing workers for parking in their workplace is not the right way to either tackle climate change or raise revenue for councils that are strapped of cash due to sweeping budget cuts.”

On the other hand, MSP Mark Ruskell, Mid Scotland and Fife for the Greens, welcomed the move and said: “The workplace parking levy will help councils tackle the climate emergency, air pollution and congestion in our city centres.”

He is also encouraging the local council to improve “what is currently a dismal bus service” for locals with new powers afforded by the bill, which allows local authorities to run their own services.

MSP Keith Brown, SNP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, said: “The workplace parking levy will be a valuable tool in helping achieve our ambitious climate change targets, and as a discretionary power, it will be up to local authorities whether they implement it or not.”

He explained revenue raised by the levy will be used for a wider local transport strategy.

And added: “Those serious about tackling climate change, and who voted for Scotland’s 2030 75 per cent emissions cut, need to back their assertions with action.”

Cllr Ellen Forson said: “I confirmed at the budget earlier in the year that the SNP administration had no plans to introduce the levy.

“This remains the case.”