It seems that many metropolitan town centres around the globe are facing the same dilemmas—trying to support local businesses and residents with the availability of short term parking, while managing the impact on traffic flows and the public purse. A complex issue, to be sure, to be sure…
Reported this week in the UK Telegraph, the government is divided over Conservative plans to allow 15-minute parking in zones with double yellow lines (no parking zones), in an effort to revitalize its high street areas (aka main streets).
With local businesses flailing, the focus is squarely on councils who are often painted as more interested in revenue raising than in saving and reviving high streets. This BBC report cites the 2011 Review led by retail expert, Mary Portas (covered previously in our blog), and reminds stakeholders that “making town centre parking more affordable was one of the main recommendations of the report into the future of the High Street”.
Here in Sydney, local government districts have been grappling with these same issues. As highlighted in our June Newsletter, Leichhardt Council became the first in Sydney to offer permanent 30-minute free parking along its iconic high streets. To the delight of local businesses and residents, the council unanimously approved the changes, despite an estimated $600K/year loss in annual revenue.