Car Parking and the Town Centre. Ojay McDonald September 2011. About ATCM. The Association of Town Centre Management is not-for-profit membership organisation which promotes vitality and viability of town and city centres. ATCM has 540 members including key stakeholders in town/city centres;
The Association of Town Centre Management is not-for-profit membership organisation which promotes vitality and viability of town and city centres.
The town centre has been exposed to falling footfall and decreasing spend for years.
According to ATCM/Springboard National High Street Index visits to town centres have declined by over 20% in the last 5 years to December 2010.
Driven by out of town shopping
New Economics Foundation, ‘Ghost Town Britain II: Death on the High Street’, 2003
And the Internet
Data suggests growth in internet shopping of clothing & footwear was countered by decline in mail order catalogues
Verdict eRetail 2009
However, 75% of vacancies are not recession related
List of Closures Last Year
Change in the mix of shopping centre attractiveness 2010 vs 2002
Conclusion - local high streets feeling most pain?
Accessibility to town centres via private transport is seen as a critical issue for policy-makers, high street businesses, the media and many other stakeholders. Growing criticism of car parking charges and the rationale for them.
Some are questioning whether there is a mismatch between town centre regeneration and car park management.
The Prime Minister commissioned Mary Portas to undertake an independent review of the high street to understand what action can be taken by stakeholders to reverse fortunes.
Car parking charges are likely to figure to some extent in the final recommendations to the Prime Minister with the possibility of recommendations then being made to local authorities and car park operators.
DCLG is consulting on ways to link business growth and economic development with local authority revenue.
If this link is established, local authorities (with private operators) will need to carefully consider car parking strategy.
In order to encourage good policy-making, evidence is needed on the affect of car parking charges has on overall footfall.
Local and national government need to know impact of car parking charges to develop better strategies for private transport.
ATCM and town centre intelligence/research affiliate company Springboard UK will work with BPA to conduct survey to collect data.
For this to be useful, it needs a wider focus than just simplistic price. Overall car parking quality and linkages to footfall/spend will be taken into account.
Sample will use locations with differing characteristics to identify if car parking charges have a differential impact.
These will be locations for which the ATCM/Springboard National High Street Index already collect data for to ensure a comprehensive analysis which will allow us to find correlations between car parking and town centre prosperity.
UK Town Centre Locations working with Springboard (and in the ATCM-Springboard NHSI)
What do you think should be included in the research?