/ Money, Motoring

Does the cost of parking drive you round the bend?

Toy car on calculator

Yesterday’s headlines reported on the cost of car parking and penalty fines. Some of you feel parking is too pricey and others think the cost is a healthy deterrent for commuters taking prime spots. What’s your view?

Parking charges were in the news again this week as councils reported how much they charge for parking and penalties. Parking in my locale, Hammersmith and Fulham, comes in at up to £1.40 per half hour, meaning that a couple of hours running errands can quickly tot up to £5 in parking alone. I’ve friends who go to the extreme of parking in adjacent boroughs to keep their costs down. I’m in a central location so can easily take the bus or tube, but not everyone has these options.

Parking in my street

According to Which? Convo regular Sophie Gilbert parking in Edinburgh is costly but she doesn’t mind:

‘I didn’t used to be able to park in my own street or sometimes other nearby streets, all within easy walking distance of the centre of town, until Edinburgh Council introduced parking charges and permits. It was especially dire around Christmas. The contrast has been like night and day, and I’m delighted to pay for my permit every year.’

Cheap parking for short stay visitors

A number of you feel that parking costs should be kept low to bring customers to our local high streets and keep local business booming. Roger Elphick devised this plan:

‘A carefully managed pricing policy is necessary for on and off street parking (together with facilities such as park and ride when available) to maintain the viability of town centres. A relatively low charge for short stay parking (say up to four hours) is essential to encourage shoppers and visitors to use the facilities in a town centre. However, a high parking charge is necessary for all-day parking to ensure that attractive parking spaces near the town centre are not taken up by commuters in shops and offices.’

And then there’s the entrepreneurial view – offering driveways or garages for ‘rent’, which is often far cheaper than pay-and-display. Websites like Parkopeida can locate an alternative space  should this approach take your fancy.

Contest a parking ticket video

Our area of expertise at Which? is of course knowing your rights which can be useful when it comes to contesting a parking ticket. This short video will guide you through what to do if you think you you’ve been unfairly issued a  ticket:

And some of have told us that you succeeded in contesting a ticket including Roy:

‘I took my camera and photographed all the signs in the street showing they all allowed 4h parking. I then wrote to the Chief Constable enclosing my time/dated photographs, and received a courteous reply, blaming vandals for tearing off the plastic stickers that were limiting the parking to 1h, and the ticket was withdrawn. Moral – always check the signs and if necessary provide evidence where possible.’

Do you feel parking costs in your local area are priced correctly and have you ever had any luck contesting a parking ticket?