A positive parking experience

British Parking Association undertook a national survey in 2014 to discover what people want when choosing where to park.

The results of that survey are shown below:

  1. Location
  2. Personal safety
  3. Tariffs
  4. Ease of access
  5. No / little queuing
  6. Number of spaces
  7. Effective surveillance
  8. Size of spaces

…the general availability of spaces is felt to be more important than cost in their overall decision about visiting. Traffic flow and parking signage have as much, if not greater, effect on their decision to visit the town centre, how long they spend there, and how much money they spend. 

Association of Town & City Management

The following identifies the response to these priorities for this strategy.


People want to be able to find a space when they need it, where they want it, and at a reasonable price that relates to their destination. Customers expect to pay for parking in a town centre because these places offer a variety of shopping, cultural and leisure experiences and they generally know that demand needs to be managed and car parks need to be maintained.

Personal safety / Effective surveillance

This is covered by the section ‘Provide safe parking’. We currently have CCTV in operation in the Fitzleet multi storey car park only.


We know that car parking prices are dictated by what a place has to offer – it’s not the prices which dictate the success of a place. We will continue to review our charging structure to consider the changing needs of residents, visitors and businesses.

Number of spaces / No queuing

To manage the demand within our car parks it’s important to ensure that all the spaces are being used and that customers are aware of alternative parking. We need to ensure that our website clearly shows where car parks are located and that there are signs in those car parks to direct drivers to alternative parking if there are no free spaces. We should also consider changing tariffs to encourage motorists into less well-used car parks and look at increasing the parking at the most popular car parks, where possible.

Size of spaces

With many larger family vehicles on the road, some motorists are reporting finding it difficult to park in bays. We therefore need to consider whether we can provide larger spaces where there is an opportunity to do so.

Provision of disabled spaces

It is important that our car parks are inclusive, therefore our parking strategy should ensure that the needs and requirements of drivers with a range of disabilities are considered. This includes ensuring that our car parks are DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant.


Customers increasingly expect to have the option of buying tickets and managing their stay in car parks by using technology that doesn’t require payment by cash. We have introduced pay by phone (RingGo) into all our car parks and we have some card/contactless Pay & Display machines. All machines still accept cash. However, the pandemic caused a huge increase in customers wishing to pay by card rather than cash, so we need to ensure that is an option in all our car parks. We also need to consider whether it’s time to consider removing cash as a payment method option.

The council is bringing in system called Mi-Permit which will allow customers to self-serve and purchase virtual seasonal permits. They will be able to manage changes to that permit when they change vehicles and we will be able to check that vehicles have permits as the civil enforcement officers handheld computers will be linked to the Mi-Permit system. The system will be more convenient for the customer as they won’t have to remember to display the permit or request and/or have to wait for changes to their registrations. They will also be able to purchase the permit at any time. The council will save time on administration and cost of issuing paper permits.

Action points

Annually review parking tariffs.

Web pages to be regularly reviewed and enabled for customer feedback.

When car parks are refurbished review type and size of spaces.

All Pay & Display machines to be contactless and accept cash by 2024.