'Ring pricing' for paid parking works

Friday, 28 November 2014

The strategic ring pricing for motorists [where higher tariffs are charged in the city centre, decreasing in concentric rings towards the outskirts] introduced by the city of Maastricht earlier this year, appears to be having the desired effect. An evaluation conducted by the city for the current year, based on the number of visitors to Q-Park parking facilities, showed that high parking tariffs act as a deterrent, especially if there are alternatives within walking distance.


Maastricht Ring pricing map

Strategic ring pricing has led to the intended shift of motorists to the outskirts of the city, according to the municipality. The number of people parking in the Vrijthofgarage [situated in the heart of Maastricht] has decreased by 9 percent compared to 2013. On the outskirts there has been an increase, rising to 15 percent.

The total number of customers and the average parking time remain unchanged. The town council will therefore make no changes to the model in 2015, Councillor John Aarts advised in a statement on Friday.

Ring structure pricing was introduced earlier this year for all parking tariffs in Q-Park's parking facilities. Rates for the four most central car parks (Vrijthof, Onze Lieve Vrouweplein, Bassin and MosaeForum) were increased; rates for parking facilities and areas outside the city centre were reduced. The purpose of this model is to promote parking on the outskirts of the city to prevent traffic congestion from motorists looking for a place to park in the city centre. In this way, the municipality wants to improve accessibility, quality of life and safety in the centre. In addition, the model offers visitors greater choice regarding price when looking for a parking space.

Fewer people parking in the city centre, more on the outskirts

In ring A, the most popular parking facility (Vrijthof) where the parking fee has increased the most, the number of customers declined by 9 percent compared to 2013. In ring B (Mosae Forum, Onze Lieve Vrouweplein and Bassin), the number of visitors declined slightly by 2 percent.

In rings C and D the number of motorists increased by 10 percent (C) and 15 percent (D) respectively. In all rings, including A and B, the average length of stay has remained unchanged from 2013. This means that visitors stay just as long in the city centre. The total number of visitors and revenue from on-street parking have remained unchanged.