More often than not, businesses say town centre parking is THE problem. Now, new research published by the People & Places Partnership shows how the problem -and solutions- differ from place to place.
The research findings are aimed to increase local understanding and help town centre managers, parking providers and businesses to collaborate in creating solutions. The research by People and Places analyses the different relationships between the performance and perceptions of town centres and parking.
The research is based on analysis by People & Places of 3,000 surveys of businesses and customers in 30 town and city centres as part of its new People, Places & Parking Process collaboration with Park Consult Limited. Though the research confirms that town centre parking is identified by businesses as the number one problem in 6 out 10 places, the nature of the issue varies between places.
The research analyses a simple suite of indicators about town centre performance, parking provision, business and customer perceptions. The analysis is used to prepare a simple red/green ‘traffic light’ graphic that can help classify the relationship between parking and town centre performance in different places. The aim is that an understanding of these differences can be used to create locally-tailored solutions. Two of the most common combinations identified by the research and the corresponding solutions are:
- Struggling town; adequate parking; negative perceptions: Management solutions here are likely to focus on the relationship between customer demand for the town centre with flexibility by parking managers to adjust tariffs and parking supply.
- Successful town; inadequate parking; negative perceptions: Solutions will need to focus on managing or increasing limited parking supply to improve perceptions and meet demand for a thriving town centre.
As Chris Wade, Director of the People & Places Partnership explains, “We always find that parking is a ‘hot topic’ in our town centre surveys. There is though often confusion and misconceptions about the nature of the problem. We believe that our analysis can help untangle some of the local issues so that town centre managers, businesses and parking professionals can more easily come together to create solutions.”
“Other towns can use our analysis with their own local data to classify the relationship between town centre and parking performance as a basis for understanding issues. Through our People, Places & Parking Process we can also work with town managers, parking providers and other stakeholders to develop cost-effective solutions that turn a negative in to a positive. Parking should become considered as an asset for our town and city centres rather than perceived as a barrier.”
The People, Places and Parking Review Process is a cost effective parking consultancy service providing a multi-level review of town centre parking. It combines the town centre expertise of the People & Places Partnership with the commercial experience of Park Consult Ltd.
Download a free copy of the summary research findings as part of the People, Places and Parking infographic, “Town Centre Parking; how it adds up”
Download a copy of a free guide to our cost-effective and multi-layered consultancy service, the “People, Places & Parking Process“