Better management of parking can help solve many problems such as congestion, street clutter and decline of town centres

Better management of parking can help solve many problems. Inconsiderate parking can cause congestion, hinder emergency vehicles, obstruct pavements, particularly for those with disabilities, and turn roads into obstacle courses for people cycling. On other other hand where there are good alternatives to driving, controlling parking can be one of the most effective means to encourage people to use other forms of transport to get around.

Parking can take up a lot of space and can be visually intrusive - some town centres and residential areas look like they are just car parks and that can damage their distinctiveness and vitality. Badly designed parking signs and lines can cause a significant amount of visual clutter. Having people driving around looking for car parking spaces can cause unnecessary pollution too.

Minimising the need for parking through better management and making alternatives to driving easier makes more efficient use of land. This can be particularly important in areas with good public transport accessibility in order to maximise the benefits of such access. It can also reduce the land take of new developments, reducing pressure to build on green field sites and ensuring that everything is in easy reach.

Where enforcement has been decriminalised, parking can provides a useful revenue stream for local transport schemes and initiatives that can widen transport choices. Civil Enforcement Officers, who issue Penalty Charge Notices for parking contraventions, can also provide enforcement against other problems in a community, such as littering.

Although there are rarely solutions that please everyone, better planning and integration of parking with transport can offer many benefits. Making it easier for commuters to use a different mode of transport to get to work can, for example, free up rail station and town centre car parks during the day. This frees up parking spaces during the day, allowing families with shopping, for whom it is more difficult to provide alternatives, to park. In turn, this can improve the viability of stations and town centres by attracting more customers.

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