Parking

It’s too expensive and more needs to be provided.

In addition to the taxes and charges imposed at national level, drivers often face unreasonably high charges levied by local authorities for parking. While the costs of providing off-street car parks need to be met, many councils are raising their parking fees to extortionate levels in an attempt to fill budget deficits elsewhere. This discourages visitors and damages local economies. In smaller towns that do not have the retail attraction of major shopping centres, local authorities should avoid introducing parking charges at all, to prevent making difficult trading situations even worse. In these cases, providing off-street parking from the council’s general income may cost them less overall.

Where residents do not have off-street parking and there is competing demand for kerb space with shoppers or commuters, residents’ permit schemes may sometimes be justified. The price of permits should be set, however, only at a level necessary to operate and enforce the scheme, not to make a profit. As with vehicle excise duty, permit charges based on CO2 emissions should not be levied.

Adequate parking provision should be present in new housing, retail and industrial developments. Parking provision should not be used as a “demand management” method.

Decriminalised parking regulations and fixed penalty notices for bus lane and box junction infringements erode your basic human rights to a fair hearing, and are often used primarily to raise money by local councils. The ABD would like to see substantial changes to this regime with local councils not being able to profiteer from parking infringements or use them to subsidise other budgets. Parking charges and penalty charges should only be used to cover the provision of facilities and administration costs, and fines should be proportional to the offence and be affordable by all road users.

Parking policies and regimes need substantial reform.

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