Positive Parking Agenda - changing perceptions about parking

The Positive Parking Agenda (PPA) is an initiative started by a group of local authorities, including Bristol, Essex, Gloucestershire, Liverpool, Oxfordshire, York and London Councils, supported and assisted by the British Parking Association. This national campaign has launched to build public confidence, change perceptions and challenge misconceptions about the parking sector and make the parking experience a better one for all concerned. The Positive Parking Agenda will provide effective and positive communications, promoting innovation and the use of technology, for the benefit of everyone.

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.

Parking is a dynamic sector; with the advent of connected and automated vehicles, electric cars, and the digital economy, it’s changing more rapidly than at any period during our 50 year existence.   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 well as continuing to ensure that parking is provided, 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 reports on parking management when it goes wrong, which may only occur in a few cases but gives the impression that it happens all the time.  These negatively perceived stories are echoed in politics.   In order to combat this, the Positive Parking Agenda, is designed to promote the positive side of parking management and 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 PPA’s overall mission is to:

  • Improve the public understanding and image of parking management by helping local authorities to work together to set and raise standards, improve communication, encourage innovation and promote transparency in the delivery of parking management.
  • Deliver fair, efficient and effective parking management for everyone in society according to a set of defined key priorities.
  • Achieve a step change in public attitudes about parking, shifting the focus of public interest and media coverage to the positive benefits of effective parking management

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 campaign attention.   Over 130 local authorities have signed up to the campaign’s key principles as well as a number of private organisations, councillors, and stakeholders. 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.  

Find out more about the Positive Parking Agenda and celebrate the benefits of good parking management as delivered by your local council and sign up today.

The British Parking Association represents the UK parking and traffic management profession with over 750 corporate members including local government, commercial providers and parking system operators, as well as consultants and academics. In addition, it represents over 500 individuals and has a separate membership structure to support their professional development.

The BPA is a not-for-profit organisation working with its members and stakeholders to support their communities, improve compliance by those managing and using parking facilities, and encourage fairness to achieve our vision of excellence in parking for all.  All surplus income is reinvested to further improve standards and professionalism in the sector.

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