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In some newly conducted research from the British Parking Association (BPA), it has been reported that:

  • The average motorist in the UK spends nearly four days every year (91 hours)* looking for parking spaces
  • Four in 10 (39%) motorists say finding somewhere to park is a stressful experience
  • Six in 10 (59%) identify drivers that block more than one space as one of the most frustrating things about parking

Motorists across the East of England and the East Midlands spend five minutes looking to find a space in comparison to their fellow road users in the capital, who spend nearly eight minutes. It was also reported that only 17% of respondents across the UK have used a parking app to help them find a place to park.

With drivers that block more than one space topping the list of biggest frustrations, it was closely followed by a lack of parking at 48%. While it was cited that 39% of motorists say finding somewhere to park is a stressful experience, only 20% find it stress-free. The report also listed car parks that are difficult to navigate (27%) and a lack of visible pay and display machines (17%) were also respondents bugbears.

Topping the poll of most important factors when looking for somewhere to park was location, which was at 67%, followed by ease of access (51%) and bright lighting (44%), with clear facilities (10%) and a parking attendant (10%) cited as the most redundant factors.

Patrick Troy, Chief Executive of the BPA, comments: “This survey supports our own research which highlights ease of access and convenience as well as safety and lighting are key issues for motorists when looking to park. Accreditations such as Park Mark and the Disabled Parking Accreditation are nationally recognised schemes managed by the BPA, which ensure car parks are well managed, safer and accessible.

The BPA is committed to assisting motorists in having the best possible parking experience by building public confidence in using newer technologies which can make finding and paying for parking so much easier and more convenient. The government could help by devolving powers to local authorities to enable them to reduce congestion and improve air quality still further.

Effective parking and traffic management is also essential in supporting the sustainable growth of our town centres and high streets. Drivers, of course, also have a responsibility to ensure they are parking so as not to cause inconvenience to others.

*Department of Transport National Travel Survey indicates 921 car journeys per person / per year. According to research conducted by the BPA, the average time motorists spend looking for a space = 5.9 mins. 921 x 5.9 / 60 mins = 90.5 hours.