Project: National Maximum Car Parking Standards - Literature Review

Reference: SRT 7/5/18

Last update: 17/06/2009 11:57:42

Objectives

To inform the Department of the impact of maximum standards for non-residential car parking, the research will:

- Review existing research relating to the maximum standards for non-residential car parking set out in PPG13.
- Research the effects of PPG13 on traffic levels and economic development. This will include looking at examples of how PPG13 has been implemented by local authorities, and examples of the effects of parking standards across the UK and Europe.
- Provide a commentary on the strength of current evidence in relation to the implementation and impact of the PPG 13 maximum parking standards.
- Provide an overview on the implementation of PPG13 by Local Authorities examining what can be determined from where PPG 13 has been either fully or only partially adopted and implemented in respect of maximum parking standards.
- Consider whether current policy (PPG13 or the local interpretation of it) has had any effects upon economic development. In particular whether differing application of parking standards has led to, or conversely been caused by, competition effects between adjoining local authorities in attracting particular types of development.
- Assess whether the Traffic Management Act 2004 and the associated Network Management Duty has informed planning decisions with regard to the application of parking standards.
- Review proposals to introduce the workplace parking levy to assess whether this is likely to impact upon the parking standards which are applied, and its likely effectiveness in reducing travel demand.
- Review existing research on the wider application and impacts of introducing maximum parking standards within the UK, Europe and Worldwide to see if there are any common findings from this experience.

Description

The aim of this research is to help inform the Department's policy position on the proposed changes to parking policy as set out in the draft new Planning Policy Statement on Planning for Sustainable Economic Development.

The work will consist of a review of existing research relating to the maximum standards for non-residential car parking set out in Planning Policy Guidance 13, as well as researching the effects of PPG13 on traffic levels and economic development. This will include looking at examples of how PPG13 has been implemented by local authorities, and examples of the effects of parking standards across the UK and Europe.

Contractor(s)

Atkins Highways and Transportation
Woodcote Grove, Ashley Road, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5BW
+44 (0)20 7121 2436

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £18,060.00

Actual start date: 13 February 2008

Actual completion date: 17 June 2008

Publication(s)

Research into the Use and Effectiveness of Maximum Parking Standards
Author: Paul Bate
Publication date: 17/06/2008
Source: Atkins
More information: http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/maximum-parking-standards/

Summary of results

  1. The Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned Atkins, under the Framework for Transport Related Technical Advice and Research, to undertake a review of existing research relating to the maximum standards for non-residential car parking, as currently set out in Planning Policy Guidance 13: Transport (PPG13), as well as investigating the effects of these parking standards on traffic levels and economic development.
    The aim of the study is to help inform the Department's policy position on the proposed changes to parking policy as set out in the draft Planning Policy Statement 4: Planning for Sustainable Economic Development (PPS4) which would cancel the maximum parking standards set out in PPG 13 and provides guidance to assist local authorities to set their own maximum parking standards.
    The study has looked at a range of existing research from within the UK and Europe and highlighted several common themes which came from the conclusions of these studies. These were that:
    . Parking is a very important demand management tool;
    . Developers see parking as important as they consider that it adds value to their asset; and
    . There is no evidence to suggest that parking standards have a significant negative impact on economic development within urban and rural areas.
    This study also undertook new research based upon a series of discussions and consultations with Local Authorities, Professional Bodies and Academia.
    We found that the findings of this new research accorded completely with the findings of the existing research as set out above.
    Additionally, the research found no indication that maximum parking standards have had any effect upon inward investment or economic development. Indeed some evidence suggested that maximum parking standards would support business and the economy within urban and rural areas.
    These findings question the rationale for the proposed cancellation national maximum parking standards in the draft PPS4 as the evidence indicates that there are not the economic reasons to adopt such a policy and that there are many sound reasons, in terms of traffic demand management, to retain the current situation as set out in PPG13.
    The research suggests that local authorities are likely to revise their standards to suit their different needs and across most of the authorities surveyed and there is a general consensus that national policy needs to reflect local needs.
    Based on this outcome and common problems encountered by rural authorities, we recommend that the current guidance and maximum parking standards, as set out in PPG13, are retained for urban areas and that a more flexible approach is permitted within rural areas.

Departmental Assessment Status: The results are a useful addition to the evidence base informing the Department and contributing to the development of policy.