With such beautiful weather we are having I thought, in true English style, it is time for a summer time rant. No it is not about the weather and that it is too hot, blah, blah, blah. It is about bloody parking charges in the UK.
As part of my role I spend a lot of time travelling around the UK meeting clients. I also like to get out there and enjoy the country we live in, the beautiful cities and the great events we put on. But there is one thing that continuously rubs me up the wrong way and that is I have to pay every time I want to stop my car anywhere near where I want to go.
- Quick trip to the beach £10
- Fancy a look around a great shopping centre in a town centre £1.50 per hour
- Fancy going to a ‘free’ motor show in Bournemouth – what do I find but coned of streets and expensive car parks
- To top it all off – want to walk in the country – feel free if you are a National Trust member – but if you are not part of the club pay through the nose.
Now of course I get it, we need money to maintain our town centres and countryside, but surely there is a more invisible and more welcoming way of doing it.
I am going to France this summer for my first trip into Europe in a camper van, Guess how much their car parks are in town centres, you guessed it free. Guess how much the Aires spots are in each town centre where you can camp overnight, right again free, to park at ski resorts in the Pyrenees, again €0!! How do they it? By using a bit of creativity. We want people to come to our town centres to keep them alive and vibrant, businesses will pay for that. They want people to get out and use the country side. If they come then they are likely to buy produce from the local farmers and growers
Come on UK let’s get with the modern world and encourage people to get out and about by making it free and easy for them to get there and park. And guess what if we do, we could all be happier and more successful
If anyone knows of or has seen creative ways of getting free parking I would love to hear about it