A new report into car parking in town centres and high streets shows no conclusive evidence that parking tariffs are influencing decline in locations across the UK.
The report, entitled ‘Re-think! Parking on the high street’, has been produced by the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM), the British Parking Association, Springboard Research Ltd and Parking Data & Research International (PDRI).
It finds no clear relationship between charges and the amenities on offer in a location and suggests that further research is needed.
Research in 2012 showed that 94% of all parking acts – including those at home – are free. Of the remaining 6%, over 82% cost less than £3 and 50% cost less that £1.*
Increasingly, local authorities have to maintain a balance between the often conflicting needs of multiple stakeholders, whilst developing accessibility and transport strategies.
Concerns have been voiced that parking charges are being raised to levels which stifle local trade, or that funds are being diverted away from car parks, not allowing for the necessary reinvestment to take place.
It is unlawful for local authorities to generate income as an objective of parking management. Any surplus generated is ring-fenced by law and the law sets out how that surplus must be used.
Kelvin Reynolds, BPA Director of Policy and Public Affairs adds, ‘This report shows the need for parking to be managed intelligently to work as intended, sometimes requiring effective management. All of this costs money and therefore, we believe that so called ‘free parking’ is not viable. Good quality, well designed and properly maintained car parks can contribute significantly to the prosperity of Britain's towns and cities and the BPA works diligently towards this by sharing best practice, encouraging fair, reasonable and legitimate parking enforcement, and the promotion of safer parking through Park Mark®.’
To view the report in full go to http://www.britishparking.co.uk/Parking-Reports