Woman paying for parking on her phone

Report outlines lack of awareness over local authority parking changes

A new report has been released by the Local Government Information Unit, outlining how the majority of decision-makers at local council level don’t understand the potential changes to local authority parking.

The report, titled Parking strategies and innovation, surveyed more than 100 councillors and council officers and found that 64% of councils have a strategy in place that outlines their development plans, however there are gaps in people’s understanding of the new model.

Parking graphic

A full-scale national rollout of the National Parking Platform (NPP) is expected in 2024, with Department for Transport moving the platform from its current trial phase. Should this platform be adopted by local authorities, parking services are to be transformed thanks to a new publicly owned technology hub that will standardise the management and delivery of parking.

The survey found that more than a third of the respondents had never even heard of the NPP, whilst 44% said that they had not heard of the open market model to introduce competition. On top of this, almost 80% of the local leaders who responded to the survey said that they would welcome efforts by the government to explain how the NPP will work in practice, in more detail.

Local Government Information Unit Chief Executive, Jonathan Carr-West, said:

“We understand that parking is a complex issue that cuts across social, economic, environmental and development policies. As driving has become a divisive topic, councils tread a fine line in prioritising the needs of residents, businesses, visitors and different user groups, while meeting other strategic goals, such as net zero targets.

“New developments and innovations like the National Parking Platform have the potential to transform procurement of parking by opening up the market and giving choice to the individual motorist for the first time. In doing so, it could bring significant benefits to local authorities, including cost savings from lowered procurement costs.

“Our latest report found that a significant number of local authorities in the UK have a strategy gap, which could prevent them from realising the benefits of some of these innovations. We encourage the government to spearhead an awareness-raising initiative around the platform to ensure that local councils understand the NPP and can make an informed decision on shifting to a parking hub.”

Enabling approved phone parking providers to integrate services, the NPP will allow for access to all the available parking inventory within a specified geographical area, removing the need to go trough the current tender process. Alongside this, the platform is public owned which is preferable to 44% of local authorities (according to the survey) and opens the door for an open market in parking. The competition that would be encouraged by having an open market would help motorists to choose their preferred parking app, rather than being stuck with one.

The current way of working sees 86% of councils contracting the parking providers that they work with through a tender process. With only 30% of councils saying that the current process is cost effective or time efficient, the open market model would remove those challenges.


Image Credit: iStock

PSE August/September 2023

PSE August/September 2023

London mayor assisting with creative COVID recovery

Our  August/September 2023 edition of PSE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key public sector topics, from EV infrastructure to Digital transformation and reducing carbon emissions.


Learn how the role of local government in leading the data revolution or read all about the Manchesters landmark housing scheme, alongside so much more…


View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Events

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Virtual Events

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 


Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.


See our full events calendar and register now! 

Public Sector Executive Podcast

Ep. 44
LGBT in the workplace
with Carl Austin Behan

In episode 44 of the Public Sector Executive Podcast, host Dan Benn was joined by former Lord Mayor of Manchester, Carl Austin-Behan OBE. Carl spoke about everything ranging from his time in the RAF, being Manchester’s first openly gay Lord Mayor, and the important work he does now, with the LGBT Foundation.

More articles...

View all