Searching for parking costs UK £23 billion a year 18th July 2017 Nick Michell
study includes results from a recent survey of 7,035 drivers from 10 UK cities
Drivers in the United Kingdom spend 44 hours a year searching for parking spaces at a cost of £733 per driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions, and to the country as a whole £23.3 billion, according to a new study published by INRIX, a company that provides real-time traffic information and solutions.
The research combines data from the company’s own database of 100,000 locations across 8,700 cities in more than 100 countries, with results from a recent survey of nearly 18,000 drivers in the US, UK and Germany, including 7,035 in 10 UK cities.
“In general, there are more parking spaces than cars on the roads, and occupancy levels can be as low as 50 percent,” Dr Graham Cookson, Chief Economist, INRIX, told Cities Today. “We don’t have a parking problem but a parking information problem–people don’t know where to park and which spots are available when they want one. This is a problem that technology can fix, today.”
The study analysed ‘parking pain’ in 10 of the UK’s largest cities, with London ranking as the worst city to find parking. On average, drivers in the capital spend 67 hours a year searching for a space, costing them £1,104 each in wasted time, fuel and emissions and the city as a whole £4.3 billion. Belfast came second (56 hours), followed by Leeds (47 hours), Bristol (46 hours), Birmingham (46 hours), and Cardiff (44 hours).
The survey asked how many parking tickets motorists received annually. The average across the UK is 0.7, which amounts to £39 per driver per year in fines or £1.2 billion for all drivers. Londoners claim to receive the most tickets and therefore pay the most in fines (£284 million).
“Drivers don’t have to wait for the authorities to solve this problem,” said Cookson. “There is technology available today that help drivers find the cheapest and closest parking to their destination, and find out in real time the availability. It’s even possible to reserve and pay for parking. Drivers can avoid fines and overpaying for parking, and can dramatically reduce the time it takes to find parking by embracing technology.”
Of the 7,035 drivers who responded to the survey, 40 percent avoided driving to the shops due to being unable to find parking, which is a likely factor in the decline of British high streets.
“Searching for parking wastes more than 2.5 billion litres of fuel in the UK every year,” added Cookson. “Not only does this cost drivers dear but it also generates 6 million tonnes of carbon emissions across the country. Solving the parking problem will help create greener, cleaner cities and streets.”