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Warnings against blanket ban on pavement parking

Pavement parking ban not advised

Critics of a total ban on pavement car parking suggest urban areas will not be able to cope with the increased need for spaces.

The warning comes from IAM RoadSmart, as the House of Commons Transport Committee takes comments on the subject of pavement parking, with one suggestion being a complete ban.

Localised bans could work, says IAM

IAM RoadSmart isn’t suggesting that localised solutions shouldn’t be levied. “Where data has been collated, the problems appear to be localised, ” said a spokeperson.

“Where pedestrians are being put in danger or denied access by inconsiderate pavement parking, or if costly long-term damage is being done, then we have no problem with local solutions being implemented for local problems.

“Local councils should be encouraged to use their existing powers to sign, define, review and enforce local bans as required.”

Councils can’t provide more parking 

Pavement parking ban not advised

It has warned, however, that many local councils do not have the funding or real estate to accommodate all the cars that would be displaced by a pavement parking ban.

“New traffic orders, new signposting, new road markings and new enforcement administration will all be required at extra cost if a blanket ban is introduced. Councils are already struggling to implement… a host of other transport measures against a background of budget cuts and dwindling resources,” warns the IAM.

A duty to provide parking, with fines to fund them

The charity also suggests that if a ban is enforced, it should be the council’s duty to provide alternative parking that is safe, secure and affordable. Fines and penalties should be used to encourage the use of alternatives where they are available, while revenue should go exclusively towards providing those alternatives.

“If enforcement is going to be applied rigorously then councils should be forced to provide safe and secure alternative parking arrangements in those areas where pavement parking has been banned but worked perfectly well before.”

“If a blanket ban is to go ahead, despite our and other organisations’ recommendations, the income from fines should be ring-fenced to improve parking facilities in the worst affected areas.”

More research is required

Pavement parking ban not advised

Overall, it is suggested that more research and individual case studies are needed. While pavement parking is considered an issue in some areas, it’s actively encouraged in others, with signs and road markings actively directing drivers to pavement spaces.

A blanket ban, while helping those areas with a pavement parking problem, would hamstring regions that have incorporated it into existing systems.

NCP makes £700,000 a year from drivers without change

Driver paying for parking at NCP car park

Car parking firm NCP has raked in nearly £700,000 a year from drivers who don’t have the correct change, a court has heard.

The parking giant kept more than £2 million in overpayments from drivers between 2009 and 2012, which it received in car parks where its ticket machines did not give change.

The figure was revealed in a High Court case where the company was fighting to prevent HMRC taking 20 percent of the cash in VAT.

Lawyers argued that NCP should not have to pay VAT on overpayments because it was not providing a service in return for the cash.

NCP parking overpayments case

Lord Justice Newey, ruling on the case with Lord Justice Patten and Lord Justice Males dismissed the claim, stating that any overpayment should be deemed the fee the driver paid to park.

Using an example of a motorist paying for an hour’s parking at £1.40 with a pound coin and 50p piece, Lord Justice Newey said: “I consider that if a customer pays £1.50, that amount is the value given by the customer and received by the supplier in return for the right to park.”

The taxman took £488,669 in VAT from the country’s biggest car park operator for overpayments made by customers between June 2009 and December 2012.

This was 20 percent of a total £2.44 million of overpayments made to NCP in that period, which equates to more than £681,000 a year. 

‘Utter contempt’

Pete Williams, a spokesperson for the RAC, said: “Everyone who has been unlucky enough to be fleeced in such a way by the car park operator will view this appeal with utter contempt.”

Edmund King, AA president, added: “The best way out of this would be to give motorists change in the first place.

“Drivers who have wanted to give left-over parking time to another motorist but been prevented by measures to stop tickets being transferred will have a wry smile on their face when they hear this court ruling.”

NCP hasn’t commented on the High Court ruling.

Revealed: the parking habits that annoy people most

parking habits

Parking in a Blue Badge bay without a disability is the parking habit that angers motorists the most. This is according to research conducted by YourParkingSpace.co.uk.

Twenty-three percent of the 500 people surveyed said misuse of a Blue Badge bay is the worst parking habit, followed by people who park too close to your car (22 percent).

On that point, why is it, when you park in an isolated parking bay, well away from the supermarket entrance, you always return to your car to find a ‘parking buddy’ parked alongside you?

Invariably, it’ll be a mid-range hatchback with a missing wheel trim and more pockmarks on its doors than a teenager’s face.

Hit and run parking

Anyway, back to the survey…

Taking up too much space when parking is another bad habit likely to wind people up (18 percent), followed by using a parent-and-child bay with no children (14 percent), parking on the pavement (13 percent), and not leaving contact details after denting a vehicle (10 percent).

Last year, the Department for Transport (Dft) announced plans to introduce a pavement parking ban, following the example set by London, where parking on the pavement has been illegal since 1974.

‘Parking can be a contentious issue’

Disabled Blue Badge holders only

Harrison Woods, managing director of YourParkingSpace.co.uk, said: “It’s reassuring to see that parking in a Blue Badge bay without a disability is the parking habit that makes most people angry as it is totally unacceptable.

“Parking can be a contentious issue and the actions of other motorists can make some car drivers see red, whether that’s parking too close to another vehicle, taking up too much space or parking where it is not allowed.”

Yesterday, we listed the cheapest and most expensive airport car parking in the UK.

Revealed: the cheapest and most expensive airport car parking

Edinburgh Airport parking

Holidaymakers flying from London City Airport for a two-week break are paying nearly £200 just for their car parking, new research has revealed. 

London City has, by far and away, the most expensive airport parking in the country, with the cost nearly FOUR TIMES more than an equivalent two-week stay at Edinburgh Airport.

Travellers using Gatwick Airport might be interested to know that that a two-week stay in the South Terminal is £3 MORE EXPENSIVE than in the North Terminal. Talk about a North/South divide… 

Driiveme airport car parking

Even more surprising is the fact that Heathrow Airport isn’t one of the top five most expensive airport car parks. Southend, Manchester and Liverpool join London City and Gatwick above Heathrow on the list.

My Late Deals carried out the extensive survey. It sourced the costs from the official airport websites, with prices based on the official car parks. A two-week stay in August was used for the purposes of the research.

The least expensive airport parking was found in Edinburgh (£43.99), followed by East Midlands (£58.49) and Stansted (£59.99).

How to save money on airport parking

Tesla at Edinburgh Airport

You should arrange your airport parking as soon as you’ve booked your holiday, as pre-booking can shave up to 60 percent off the price you’d pay if you just turned up and paid at the airport.

James Lewis of Holiday Extras said: “Around 87 percent of bookings are booked within nine weeks of the departure date. However, it is those who booked earlier than nine weeks that actually get the better deal (by better deal, I mean cheaper price per night).

“Price and availability go hand in hand – if availability is low, suppliers will increase their prices in order to slow demand. So booking earlier, perhaps at the point of booking the holiday, will guarantee availability and the lowest prices.”

Vehicles in a closely-packed car park

Closely-packed car park

Shopping around for the best deal can also save you money. There are a number of price comparison websites to consider, while most car park operators will run promotions and special offers.

The proximity to the terminal will also play a part in how much you’ll pay for parking. In short, the closer you park, the more you’ll pay, while valet parking will cost considerably more.

Remember to check the reviews and use a trusted operator. Saving a few quid might seem like a good idea, but if your car is left in a muddy field while you sun yourself on a beach, it might take the shine off your holiday experience.

The most expensive airport parking

1.London City£196.50
2.Gatwick (South Terminal)£115.00
3.Gatwick (North Terminal)£112.00
4.Southend£104.99
5.Manchester£101.99
6.Liverpool£97.99
7.Heathrow£97.40
8.Luton£93.99
9.Cardiff£91.00
10.Bristol£90.99

The least expensive airport parking

1.Edinburgh£43.99
2.East Midlands£58.49
3.Stansted£59.99
4.Doncaster Sheffield£62.49
5.Belfast International£62.99
6.Belfast City£65.99
7.Leeds Bradford£66.00
8.Glasgow£66.87
9.Southampton£69.00
10.Birmingham£69.99

All costs based on a two-week stay and correct as of 2 May 2019. Prices for for illustrative purposes only – visit the official airport parking operators for up-to-date quotes.

1 in 5 Brits admit they would hit and run in a car park

Hit and run parking

Almost one in five British motorists would not leave their contact details if they dented another car when parking, according to a study by YourParkingSpace.co.uk.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, drivers have a duty to stop and to provide information if damage is caused to another vehicle or to someone else’s property. In some cases, motorists must produce their insurance certificate and/or report the incident to the police.

Section 170 is very clear on the subject:

The driver of the mechanically propelled vehicle must stop and, if required to do so by any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring, give his name and address and also the name and address of the owner and the identification marks of the vehicle.

A motorist is guilty of an offence if they fail to comply with the legislation.

The research also found that one in ten motorists have actually dented another car when parking, and that a third of British motorists have witnessed a driver denting another vehicle.

Flouting motoring etiquette

Man inspecting car park damage

Harrison Woods, YourParkingSpace managing director, said: “It would seem there are a significant number of motorists prepared to flout motoring etiquette by not leaving their contact details if they hit another car when parking and had not been spotted.

“Not only is this a motoring offence, it is also very inconvenient for the other motorist who, through no fault of their own, could have to pay to fix the damage to their vehicle.”

Harrison added: “The UK’s roads must be littered with dented cars given the results from our survey, meaning many millions of motorists need to practice their parking skills.

“The good news is that the majority would intervene if they saw a car being dented, putting those people to shame who would not leave their contact details if they had not been seen.”

Government to clamp down on rogue parking firms

Parking regulations Government parking act 2019

The Parking Act 2019 is a government initiative to better regulate the private parking industry. It has now received Royal Assent and passed into law.

As well as establishing a new single code of practice to ensure easier-to-understand regulations when it comes to private parking, the act should better enable motorists to challenge unfair tickets.

A new independent appeals service has been established. If private firms break its to-be-determined code of practice, they could lose their powers to obtain information from the government, in order to send out fines.

The act follows work the government has already done to curb private parking firms’ powers, including bans on clamping, towing and ‘over-zealous parking enforcement by councils and parking wardens’.

Industry stakeholders and motoring groups, including the AA and the RAC, will collaborate with the government in the coming months to establish and ratify the code of practice.

Parking regulations Government parking act 2019

“Motorists will warmly welcome this new Act,” said Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC.

“For too long, some unscrupulous private parking operators have made drivers’ lives a misery with some questionable practices, which sent levels of trust in the sector plummeting.

“The code will create more consistent standards across the board, which should eliminate dubious practices and create a single, independent appeals process.

“The RAC has long called for changes to the way the private parking sector is regulated and this new code will undoubtedly make the lives of drivers easier.”

Pre-booked parking can save 132 tonnes of CO2 per year

pre-booked parking

New research has revealed the potential CO2 savings motorists could make by using pre-booked parking services rather than embarking on the usual car park mooch for a suitable bay.

As much as 132 tonnes of CO2 were saved by the customers of YourParkingSpace.co.uk. That’s an amount equivalent to burning 53 tonnes of coal.

In addition to the CO2 savings, as much as 46,000 grams of nitrogen oxides (read, the dieselgate McGuffin) was saved by those who made a beeline for pre-booked spots. Both CO2 and NOx can be extremely harmful to both our health and the environment.

Such savings are a major advance and a great plus in the argument for pre-booked parking.

‘Circling the block’

“Changing attitudes towards how motorists drive and park can help put an end to the environmentally damaging practice of circling the block in the hope of finding an available parking space,” said Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk.

“Our research is a stark reminder of how much air pollution can be avoided – some 132 tonnes of carbon dioxide in one year alone by YourParkingSpace.co.uk customers – simply by driving straight to a pre-booked parking space.”

“As well as having an environmental advantage, parking in a pre-booked space also has a positive financial impact for local homeowners who provide many of these spaces, while providing cheaper parking for needy motorists.”

pre-booked parking CO2

The service has something for those who have already ditched smoggy internal combustion, too. It’s teaming up with Zap-Map.com to make parking spaces with charging facilities available to pre-book.

Dude, where's my parked car

Two-thirds of motorists have a ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’ moment

Dude, where's my parked car

You’ll lose many things over the Christmas period – your temper, the wrapping paper, the cranberry sauce, the tip for the postman, your mother-in-law. Maybe the latter is just wishful thinking…

But the chances are you won’t lose your car. Not unless you’re one of the 2,000 motorists who took part in a study by Nissan. Yes, it’s that most wonderful time of the year when the press offices have switched to auto-drive and are rolling out news items loaded with stats for all to enjoy endure.

Nissan claims that around two-thirds of us have forgotten whey we parked our car. That’s 65.1% of the respondents failing to recall where they placed their motor.

Furthermore, we could spend around 10 minutes searching for the misplaced vehicle.

<Insert something here about all crossovers looking the same>

OK, moving on. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 100 motorists admitted to spending more than half an hour searching for their car. Maybe they were searching in the wrong town. Or maybe they were in denial about buying a Mitsubishi Mirage.

Dude, Where’s My Crossover?

Parked Nissan Qashqai

Of the places where drivers are most likely to misplace their vehicles, multi-storey car parks came out on top, followed by shopping centres, supermarkets, airports and the street.

This is despite smartphone technology enabling motorists to log where they parked their car. Indeed, only nine percent of the respondents said that they used a smartphone to track the location of their vehicle.

Arun Prasad, passenger car category manager at Nissan, said: “In-car connectivity and smartphone apps let drivers use simple and accessible technology to mitigate against some of the everyday pitfalls of motoring – such as forgetting where you parked your car.”

“Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility – our vision for the future of motoring – we’re changing the way we interact with our vehicles to benefit customer lives. Helping drivers easily locate their car is just one of the many benefits under our Intelligent Integration strategy.”

There’s apparently no truth in the rumours that Nissan is developing an intelligent app designed to help you lose your mother-in-law over the Christmas period. Not all of your Christmas wishes will come true.

Read more:

Indoor car park

UK council parking profits could top £900 million in 2018

Indoor car parkDo you think you pay too much for parking? Unless you take the train, you probably do. So the fact that English councils are heading toward a combined surplus profit of nearly a billion pounds might add insult to injury.

Official figures supplied to the government by the local authorities suggest a circa-£890 million profit by the end of the 2018-2019 operating period – a 13 percent rise on the 2017-2018 figure of £786 million, as stated by the RAC Foundation in its breakdown of the numbers.

They do, however, allude to the fact that in prior years, estimations have been vastly below the final figure. The 2016-estimate was £747 million, with the final figure coming in at £819 million. That means that for either this period or next, we’ll likely see a billion-pound national profit from parking.

“If previous years are anything to go by then the £885 million is likely to be a significant underestimate. The actual surplus figure for parking operations for 2016-17 was £819 million, far ahead of the £747 million councils had themselves predicted,” said the RAC.

In terms of individual regions, naturally, the capital takes top ‘honours’ for parking takings. Estimates put Westminster at the top of the pile with a projected £78.7 million come the end of 2018-2019.

The figures also show that just 50 of the 354 contributing authorities expect to make a loss from parking.

Read more:

Remote control parking now legal

Remote control parking will be legal in the UK from June

Remote control parking now legal

Remote control parking will be legal in the UK from June, following new legislation introduced yesterday. This latest development is another step towards increased automation, with remote parking just one of a number of driving assistance technologies that have the potential to transform car travel, says the Department of Transport (DfT).

The updates will provide clarity for motorists about how the technologies can be used, it says, while allowing the increased use of features like cruise control. The DfT also claims that technology has the potential to make driving more energy efficient, meaning cheaper and cleaner journeys, with improved air quality for both drivers and pedestrians.

The move follows consultation with a range of groups, including manufacturers, insurance companies and hauliers, and remote parking is part of a package of work designed to keep the UK at the forefront of the automated driving sector while ensuring our roads are ready for new technology.

The transport minister, Jesse Norman, said: “Advanced driver assistance systems are already starting to revolutionise driving. It’s encouraging to see the strong support for these innovations from a range of stakeholders. We will continue to review our driving laws, in order to ensure drivers can enjoy the potential of these new tools safely.”

But the DfT was quick to point out that, while drivers should embrace the new technology, they must remain in control of their vehicle. Currently, drivers are not permitted to hold a mobile phone while in the car, but the proposed update will allow them to use a remote control device if they are within six metres of the vehicle. The update will be reflected in the Highway Code.

Transforming lives

The remote parking function may be used in a number of ways, from a key fob issued by the manufacturer to a smartphone app. For example, Mercedes-Benz offers a Remote Parking Assist, which allows owners to manoeuvre into and out of a parking space via an app. Prices start from £19 for a three-month licence to £119 for a full three years of parking joy.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, welcomed the move, saying: “Connected and autonomous vehicles will transform our lives, with the potential to reduce up to 25,000 serious accidents and create more than 300,000 jobs over the next decade.

“[This] announcement is just one step towards increasing automation but it is an important one enabling increased convenience especially for those with restricted mobility. It is another welcome commitment from government to keep the UK firmly at the forefront of connected and autonomous vehicle development and rollout.

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