Response to Local Authority (Car) Parking consultation

We’d like to support the Cycling Embassy submission to your Local Authority (Car) Parking consultation

The Localism agenda in fact should give more freedom to local authorities to decide their own parking strategies. We believe that local authorities should be allowed to set their own levels of parking fees and indeed be permitted to “earn” excess income that should be invested in car alternatives such as bike infrastructure.

Many studies have shown that the role of car use is overestimated for shopping. We point you towards Sustrans Retail Vitality studies that replicate outcomes of Continental studies. We’ve seen similar results in Newcastle when surveys were carried out. There is also plenty of data and evidence coming out of US America (of all countries!) that tell us car restraint boosts local business.

Prof Shoup investigated car parking as a space / cost proposition and concluded that in our current system it is heavily subsidised and if space were handled as a free market economy (ie not subsidised by the state) should cost much more and that (free) car parking can depress retail expansion.

We’d also want to make the point that we’d very much would like to see a stronger talk against damaging car use by the government and civil servants and a much more positive attitude towards walking, cycling and public transport. There are some old belief systems at work that require updating.

The sheer proposal the Department for Transport puts to us is flawed. What we really need in our urban areas is the car restrained and not subsidising a largely outdated and unacceptable mode of transport, especially for shorter journeys – ITDP, SDC, T&E.

Maybe you are not familiar with the research and require references. We list most of them here and for retail related car restraint here

If you should have queries about our submission, please do not hesitate to contact us,

Katja Leyendecker