Hopes are high that as lockdown eases over the next few months, popular tourist destinations will see the return of much needed visitors to boost local economies.
With the early May Bank Holiday approaching, local authorities across the UK are ready to offer a warm welcome to visitors. But warnings have been made about a repeat of scenes from last year that saw a minority of motorists parking irresponsibly, causing chaos and frustration for residents and businesses in and around these visitor destinations.
These communities are now preparing for another year of managing the increased demand placed on staycation hotspots, including providing additional parking facilities in anticipation of the higher number of motorists.
As holiday makers, day trippers and shoppers make a return during the summer season, the parking sector, both public and private, believe everyone needs to play their part, by only parking where it is legally permitted, helping ensure that streets and communities are kept safe, free from congestion, and can be enjoyed by all.
Government is also being urged to increase the options and sanctions available to local authorities to tackle the worst offenders. These measures could see an increase in the top level of penalties as evidence from last summer shows that the current rates are not an effective deterrent to antisocial and selfish parking.
Caron Fassetta, Director of Communications and Membership at the British Parking Association said, “‘What we saw last year was unprecedented. And there is good reason to anticipate that some people will once again ignore the rules, causing obstruction, and endangering the lives of other road users, especially pedestrians. Safety is our top priority. If we all do what’s right, residents as well as visitors can enjoy the holiday season. In short, we’re asking motorists to “Be Kind – Park with others in mind.”
Richard Walker, Parking Partnership Group Manager at North Essex Parking Partnership expressed concern the situation could worsen if stronger action is not taken:
“The real impact of so many people thinking antisocial behaviour and poor parking is acceptable is that it increases congestion, contributing to additional pollution and rising frustration from people living in these areas. Simply put – lives are at risk, as journey times for emergency vehicles get longer, disabled and visually impaired people, and parents with pushchairs are forced into the path of moving vehicles, and overcrowded destinations make it impossible for everyone to socially distance.”
The BPA’s Selfish Parker campaign encourages people to respect others and think before they park. Parking restrictions exist for a reason and ‘It’s not ok to park, where it’s not ok to park’. The BPA has some top tips for those planning to visit tourist hot spots:
- Plan your visit – search the location for parking facilities and if possible, book parking in advance.
- Find alternatives – to the most popular parking locations by parking further away from your final destination, this could save you time too.
- Park responsibly – only park where it is permitted, respect the people living in the community you are visiting and be kind.
- Don’t obstruct – pavements, private driveways, or impede access for emergency vehicles.
- Don’t litter – take it home with you or find a rubbish bin.
Don’t be idle – turn your engine off when in stationary traffic or when you are parked