New research commissioned by London Councils shows that parking management undertaken by councils is an essential public service that benefits the city’s economy while helping to deal with traffic, improve air quality, and ensure better road safety.
Representing London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London Corporation, London Councils commissioned Integrated Transport Planning (ITP) to research public parking management in the UK capital, which is the responsibility of London boroughs, by evaluating the cumulative impact of parking measures such as bays, yellow lines and parking zones.
The report sums up the value parking services add to the capital, which it estimates at £3.58bn (US$4.69bn) per year. It also assesses the cost-benefit ratio of parking management, which stands at 10:1; for every pound sterling spent on parking measures, London benefits tenfold.
The report notes that around 9.6 million trips are made in London by car, taxi or private hire vehicle each day, and at the beginning and end of these journeys, motorists must use some form of parking service.
However, the report shows that motorists are not the only people who benefit from the boroughs’ parking management, as it has wider benefits for all Londoners. The study defines eight benefits of parking management:
• Reducing congestion;
• Improving road safety;
• Improving air quality;
• Ensuring good access and accessibility;
• Promoting the local economy;
• Maximizing the productive use of the land resource;
• Promoting health and wellbeing through travel choice;
• Providing funding for parking and wider transport scheme improvements, including the Freedom Pass concessionary travel scheme.
These benefits are achieved by using different combinations of parking measures. For example, in order to reduce obstructive parking on a busy route, boroughs can use parking controls to reduce congestion and also ensure there is a supply of good parking options nearby.
“Many people only think about parking when they have a bad experience, such as when they can’t find a space or if they do receive a parking ticket. This means it is easy to misunderstand why councils and TfL (Transport for London) manage parking services,” noted Julian Bell, chair of London Councils’ transport and environment committee.
“However, with nearly 10 million journeys made in the capital daily, our report shows that parking management makes a major contribution to London’s economy, worth £3.58bn, and every pound invested in parking services benefits our city ten times over.
“London boroughs use a range of parking measures in different parts of the capital to ensure people, goods and services can move around the city safely and efficiently, incentivizing cleaner and healthier forms of transport whenever possible.”