Re-Think! Parking on High Street (4)

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

by: Qurius

Some might question why it is so important to protect our town centres if;

  • out-of-town shopping caters for the car borne consumer,
  • the Internet for those that want to stay at home and
  • the traditional centre for everyone else.

The truth is;

  • Not thinking strategically about car parking can be an extra step towards the erosion of the town centre’s viability and lead to under-utilisation of a centre’s assets.
  • Not thinking strategically about the car’s role within a variety of transport modes with access to the town centre could entrench reliance on the car.

For example, car users feeling unwelcome in the town centre and using alternative destinations with free parking will contribute to a displacement of spend. This ultimately weakens the offer of the town centre. With a weaker offer other consumers may be persuaded to travel by car to out-of-town locations.

The town centre, with a variety of modes of accessibility and its location within a catchment area is pivotal in attempts to prevent unnecessary urban sprawl and to encourage greater use of public transport modes of transportation.

Re-Think the high street think strategically about the car's role

The use of funds generated from car parking also need greater consideration. Car parks have a limited lifespan and therefore require periodic reinvestment in order to remain in-service and safe to use. Despite their ability to bring in revenue, reinvestment has not always been forthcoming leaving some structures in a state of disrepair and parking managers frustrated. Furthermore, funds generated from parking management could be reinvested in developing viable public transport alternatives to encourage modal shifts.

A liberal extract from 'Re-Think! Parking on the High Street', by the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM), the British Parking Association (BPA), Springboard Research Ltd and Parking Data & Research International (PDRI).