This may seem like a passing comment, but every journey does begin and end with parking.
When kerbside space is at a premium and under pressure from a variety of competing demands, effective parking management is required to ensure it is kept fair for all and not a free for all.
There is no such thing as a free parking space. Some parking may be free at the point of use, but someone, somewhere, is paying for its upkeep and maintenance. So-called free parking is always subsidised in some way – either by council tax payers or business rate payers, or a combination of both.
“The ultimate vision is for parking to be recognised as a valued service and one that makes a significant contribution to a sustainable environment
With around 39 million vehicles on Britain’s roads, we are beginning to realise that tackling air quality and congestion should be higher priorities, as should continuing to ensure that parking is provided and well managed, and that it works. After all, we would all prefer to live in a cleaner, safer, less congested world where we can move around freely and easily.
Unfortunately, the media tends to report on parking management when it goes wrong, which may only be in a few cases, but it gives the impression that it happens all the time. These negatively perceived stories are echoed in politics.
To combat this, British Parking Association (BPA) local authority members have joined forces to create the Positive Parking Agenda, a national campaign designed to deliver and build public confidence in the parking sector. Its focus is on promoting the positive side of parking management and the campaign aims to highlight the outcomes that effective parking management creates.
It will challenge misconceptions about the parking sector and local government’s role, showing that the parking experience can be a better one for all concerned. The ultimate vision is for parking to be recognised as a valued service and one that makes a significant contribution to a sustainable environment.
In addition, the BPA is conducting research to understand what people really think about parking, in order to prioritise the campaign’s attention. More than 120 councils, as well as a number of private organisations, councillors, and stakeholders, have signed up to the campaign’s key principles.
There is more work to be done to reach the remaining authorities and encourage greater synergy across the UK. Consequently, the BPA and Positive Parking Agenda founding members are busy engaging with like-minded colleagues at conferences and regional meetings.
Parking is a dynamic sector, and with the advent of connected and automated vehicles, electric cars, and the digital economy, it’s changing more rapidly than at any other period during the BPA’s 50-year existence.
Find out more about the Positive Parking Agenda and celebrate the benefits of good parking management, as delivered by your local council, by signing up today at www.positiveparkingagenda.co.uk/