Thursday, 16 July 2015

Now, I wonder if they will think this one through to the logical conclusion...


Better for 'rents', and better for Business Rates.

So how should they fund the parking costs?

Who's going to tell them?


Mark Wadsworth said...

An occasional reader, HM, emailed me this article for comment.

My point was that parking is like any other space. If there is a shortage, it has to be rationed, and the best form of rationing is price-rationing i.e. parking charges.

If there are plenty of parking spaces, then they have little or no value and should be 'free' - to the benefit of local businesses, who will pay it back in higher Business Rates.

If the council charges 50p for a space worth 10p, that is bad for business. If it charges 50p for a space worth £1, that is also bad for business. It's a balancing act.

It's just a question of getting the charges 'right'. High in times of high demand (daytime), lower or free in the evening and at weekends, always bearing in mind that the collection costs are huge.

I don't mind paying £1 for parking, what I mind is rushing around trying to get the right change, trying find the meter, trying to understand the rules, remembering where I put the ticket when I leave the car park, worrying that I will overstay by five minutes and get fined etc.

Lola said...

MW. Indeed. And of course.

Woodsy42 said...

There are at least 2 logical conclusions.
The first is that increasing/imposing parking charges for other locations will improve town visiting and prevent decline. I suspect this is what they will assume - however there is a good chance people would simply find a third alternative (internet, industrial estates for technical stuff) and even with balanced charges people won't stay in town longer than they have to nor visit except when they have to, so leisure activities and footfall will still suffer.
The second alternative is to accept that free parking brings in more trade so keep it free to maximise that trade. The downside being that someone has to pay for the parking spaces, and that would ultimately be taxes on the traders.
Most rural french towns apply the second alternative, free or nominal charging only to prevent long term blocking of prime spaces.

Rich Tee said...

You're all missing the point. High parking charges are intended to discourage car use in favour of public transport, cycling etc.

The economic arguments are of no concern to the council.

Bayard said...

"So how should they fund the parking costs?"

What parking costs? As MW points out, all parking charges are price rationing and if they aren't that, they are rent.

Last week I was in Spain and went to the ancient city of Girona. The authorities there seem to be able to "afford" a very large (and attractively landscaped) car park on the edge of the old city which is completely free. I think that most parking charges are less about price rationing than about creating revenue and that price rationing is more about bureaucratic control than the convenience of shoppers, like traffic lights and motorists. I note that the Telegraph article says nothing about traffic chaos descending on Cardigan and presumably few enough shoppers were deterred by the lack of space rationing for the change to be overall positive as far as the traders were concerned.

Bayard said...

"High parking charges are intended to discourage car use in favour of public transport,"

What public transport? Here in the countryside there are still a few old people left who remember a regular bus service into the local town but they're getting fewer every year.. OK, I exaggerate, but not much.

JJ said...

" High parking charges are intended to discourage car use in favour of public transport, cycling etc"

A situation which would occur naturally if:

1. Space in congested roads/junctions was rationed through congestion pricing.
2. Public transport received its fair share of public revenue(ideally raised through LVT).
3. Roads were clear enough to make cycling safe (which of course would be the result of points 1 and 2).

Essentially they are trying to create the "natural" state of affairs the wrong way, similar to the green belt.

DBC Reed said...


Kj said...

Councils are not primary recepients of high street rents, and one shouldn't be surprised when councils price parking spaces to maximise revenue from parking spaces alone, and not to the benefit of high street rents.