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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;

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car parking and the town centre

Car Parking and the Town Centre

Ojay McDonald

September 2011

about atcm
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;
  • More than 400 are TCM initiatives covering 700 district, town and city centres across the UK.
growing problems for the town centre
Growing Problems for the Town Centre

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.

impact of out of town centres
Impact of Out-of-Town Centres

Driven by out of town shopping

  • Between 1986 and 1997 the number increased four-fold
  • Average spend OOT is £55 vs £34 within town centres
  • 40% fall in small shops between 1986 and 1997

New Economics Foundation, ‘Ghost Town Britain II: Death on the High Street’, 2003

impact of the internet
Impact of the Internet

And the Internet

  • 25% growth in 2008
  • Worth 10% of retail spend by 2013
  • Overall internet share of UK retail has risen to 8.5% from 4.8%over the last ten years

Verdict 2009


Catalogue and Internet Share of Total UK Retail in Category

Data suggests growth in internet shopping of clothing & footwear was countered by decline in mail order catalogues

Verdict eRetail 2009

recession has accelerated decline
Recession Has Accelerated Decline
  • Between April 2008 and November 2009, 53 retailers closed 7,576 stores
  • Compared to 2007, 15 retailers closed 1,490 stores
  • Vacancy rates in town centres have reached 12.4% - in some cases more than 25%

However, 75% of vacancies are not recession related


Recession Has Accelerated Decline

List of Closures Last Year


Differential impact on retail destinations

Change in the mix of shopping centre attractiveness 2010 vs 2002

  • Source: Javelin VENUESCORE overlaid on CACI Venue classifications Feb 2010

Conclusion - local high streets feeling most pain?

are car parking charges to blame
Are Car Parking Charges to Blame?

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.

mary portas high street review
Mary Portas High Street Review

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.

mary portas high street review13
Mary Portas High Street Review

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.

local gov resource review
Local Gov Resource Review

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.

no existing evidence base
No Existing Evidence Base

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.

town centre car parking survey
Town Centre Car Parking Survey

ATCM and town centre intelligence/research affiliate company Springboard UK will work with BPA to conduct survey to collect data.

town centre car parking survey17
Town Centre Car Parking Survey

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.

town centre car parking survey18
Town Centre Car Parking Survey

Sample will use locations with differing characteristics to identify if car parking charges have a differential impact.

town centre car parking survey19
Town Centre Car Parking Survey

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)

  • Armagh
  • Balham
  • Barking
  • Barnet
  • Bedford*
  • Belfast
  • Birmingham*
  • Blackpool*
  • Bournemouth
  • Bridgend
  • Bristol*
  • Brixton
  • Bromley
  • Cardiff
  • Castleford
  • Cheltenham
  • Chester
  • Chichester
  • Clapham
  • Croydon*
  • Derby*
  • Doncaster
  • Downpatrick
  • Dublin
  • Ealing*
  • Edgware
  • Edinburgh*
  • Glasgow
  • Great Yarmouth*
  • Gloucester
  • Grimsby
  • Guildford
  • Guisborough
  • Hammersmith*
  • Hastings
  • Hucknell
  • Holloway
  • Ipswich*
  • Kingston upon Hull*
  • Kirby in Ashfield
  • Leamington Spa*
  • Leeds
  • Leyton
  • Liverpool*
  • Manchester
  • Mansfield
  • Newcastle*
  • Newport
  • Northampton
  • Norwich
  • Nottingham*
  • Oldham
  • Oxford
  • Perth
  • Plumstead
  • Plymouth*
  • Pontypridd
  • Poole
  • Pontefract
  • Porthcawl
  • Redcar
  • Rotherham
  • Rugby*
  • Scarborough
  • Scunthorpe
  • Sheffield
  • Shepherd’s Bush
  • Stafford
  • Stoke on Trent
  • Stratford Upon Avon*
  • Sunderland
  • Sutton
  • Sutton in Ashfield
  • Swansea*
  • Swindon*
  • Swiss Cottage
  • Uxbridge
  • Wakefield
  • Walthamstow
  • Warwick
  • Wimbledon
  • Woolwich
  • Worthing*
  • York
  • *BID Location
questions and comments
Questions and comments

What do you think should be included in the research?

contact details
Contact details
  • Ojay McDonald
    • 0300 330 0980