Free car parking would support high street shopping, say drivers
Almost nine in 10 (86%) people would like to see local authorities make car parking free to encourage more shoppers to return to the high street.
The research, carried out by independent car retailer Motorpoint among some 1,080 respondents, showed that there is still strong support for the high street among customers.
Motorpoint CEO Mark Carpenter said: “While free parking in itself won’t draw people back to the shops, it will certainly incentivise more people to make that trip into their local town and at the same time heeding the Government’s message about staying safe by avoiding public transport wherever possible.”
However, while high street retailers have been hit particularly hard during Covid-19, with major names such as Debenhams, John Lewis and Boots announcing closures, the research also shows the pressures that local authorities are under. Although removing parking fees would support the high street, it would wipe out a source of revenues for local authorities at a time when they’re also being hard hit; councils normally raise over £880m in parking fees annually according to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.