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MSE News: Motorists paying £8 billion a year to park

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
29 replies 2.7K views
2.4K posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
"Parking prices rose 12.5% last year, with high charges deterring shoppers from visiting town centres, a new survey says ..."


  • prowlaprowla Forumite
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    Yup - We've cut down on the number of times we'll go shopping, and I often find that all we buy is some parking and a cup of coffee.

    If I do look to buy something, then I consider the actual cost to be the purchase price of the goods plus the fee for parking; if that is too high then I'll walk away.

    If I go to my local town then I try and walk there, but I won't buy anything more than I can easily carry home.

    Essentially, paying for parking: (a) discourages me from going to towns, and (b) discourages me from buying, and (c) directly takes money away from retailers.
  • millermiller Forumite
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    So instead of the BoE giving money to banks who don't lend it and which punishes savers/pensioners etc. giving them less money to spend, the government could give a one-off grant to local authorities allowing them to suspend parking charges for a year (or lower them to a nominal amount).

    Some of which they would get back from shoppers increased spend via VAT, which could in turn be used to lower business rates.
  • prowlaprowla Forumite
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    The issue now though is that there is a whole industry that has evolved around controlling and extracting money from motorists.

    Paid parking, parking controls & restrictions where none are needed, ticketing transgressors, planning departments & meetings to decide what to do, licensing out operations to PPCs, etc.

    Doing away with parking charges would throw a whole infrastructure into disarray.
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    Paying for parking puts me off going out. For shopping I'll only park where I can park free. I sometimes like to go out for a travel around, see what's out there, look at the views, see if I want to explore further - as it is, instead of stopping in 3-4 places in a day and buying local goods in the shops etc, I'll just keep driving as you have to pay £2 each time for the privilege of an hour or so. It's too expensive to do that. Paying £2, only to discover a village/small town has nothing to offer and you're back in the car in 10 minutes .... would soon add up. If it's not raining and I am signt-seeing I'll walk up to a mile for free parking, but I've got a foot injury at the moment so can't.

    Years ago you'd be travelling round and think "ooh look at that view" and stop for 10-15 minutes.... now it's "ooh look at that view, oh a machine, how much? Blimey, £2. You can keep the view, I only wanted to stop for 10 minutes"
  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    I know of a car park at Rye Harbour which is used by thousands to visit the harbour and sea/bird reserve and the shop/pub thrive on it. There are moves afoot to now charge for this so you can guarantee that the usage will drop. Cars will park on the road so council will put yellow lines down and only a few cars will visit causing shop/pub to close. All because the council want a few shekels for the parking they will lose the business rates, government will lose vat and people will lose jobs etc.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • mikey72mikey72 Forumite
    14.7K posts
    Doesn't seem to be affecting them that much.

    From the same article.

    ".........while 21% reckon current parking services do not offer enough space.
    A total of 60% of motorists told the survey they spend between six and 20 minutes each trip searching for a parking space."

    As a multi storey costs about £5 to £10 million to build, it's probably an easy choice for us. Don't pay, and accept that we'll have no extra car parks, and no maintenance of the ones we have, or increase another tax to let the goverment fund them for us. Or simply say the £8 billion revenue isn't required and expect to be able to park anyway.

    Personally, I'm happy to pay a quid or two, and have somewhere to park, than travel round looking for a space in a full car park for ages.
    I've better things to do.
  • I have to say, I think that one of the things that isn't helping consumerism - since that's often a measure used, and one of the things the gummint want regular proles to continue to do, even in times of hardship - is the way parking is handled, these days.

    Practically everywhere you go, there are signs up, talking about regulations, about who's employed to enforce things - I honestly thing it doesn't help, across the board.

    Don't get me wrong, I recognise there are scenarios where car parking at retail sites can be abused, but that seems to have become less of a tactical / surgical thing, and now more of a blanket thing. And I think it does have a knock-on effect on the public. From where I'm sat, it does discourage the impulse visits, or the shopping trips (which were largely tedious, anyways) and makes me more inclined to buy online.

    It seems the only people truly benefiting are these private parking contractors, who seem to be making profits and creating a market where there wasn't one previously. Thing is, though, I just don't see that creation or growth in that part of the market as comprehensively good across all parts of consumerism - so minor benefit for encroaching greater loss.

    It just seems that in simpler times, it was more easy and more encouraged to actually go somewhere, park up, and wander around shops or other retail establishments. Nowadays, minor need has become blanket enforcement - and it's more that constant overreaction that seems a shame as much as anything else.
  • whatmichaelsayswhatmichaelsays Forumite
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    I've got no problem with paying to park where it is done reasonably and lawfully. People are entitled to charge for use of their land.

    Free parking in towns and cities would bring on as many problems as it solves and I don't think that parking charges are solely responsible for the demise in city centres. Leeds, which has some of the most expensive parking outside of London, is getting 1m+ sq ft of new retail space in the city centre and Manchester City Centre always seems pretty busy when I'm in town.
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  • Gavin83Gavin83 Forumite
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    Free parking in town centres would create issues. What use is a free parking space if you can't find one? I live in a town centre with a large number of shops and good transport links including a direct train link to London. The majority of parking spaces would be filled up by 8am by people catching the train into London for work. Those who work in the town centre would also take up spaces, at the moment the majority would travel via train/bus. That would leave a very small number of spaces for actual shoppers.

    It does make sense why people choose to go to supermarkets instead of their town centres but these are generally out of town and don't suffer the same problems.

    Not sure what the solution would be.
  • note_2note_2 Forumite
    169 posts
    i hate paying for parking - just the principle of it really.

    one thing i noticed on holiday recently, the parking was like 60p, so i put a pound in, and the machines dont give change, only then did i see that in small print at the bottom! nice little earner for the sneaky !!!!!!!s!
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