Vast majority of UK shoppers would choose local shops but only with free town centre parking
Some 87 per cent of people would visit smaller local retailers if paying for parking were not an issue, according to new research by car leasing company Flexed.co.uk but only a fifth would pay to park on their local high street if an out-of-town supermarket let them do so for free.
The study also revealed that small independent shops see revenues up by one-third when there are no costs associated with local parking.
“Government limits on how much local authorities can increase council tax charges mean that alternative revenue streams are vital for many councils, ” said Flexed.co.uk co-founder Mark Hall.
He added: “Car parking is one of the most obvious ways of raising cash but it’s vital that a balance is struck between maintaining services and helping local businesses to survive.”
An additional survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in 2013 found that almost half of small business owners think that the cost of parking has a negative impact on their business and some 42 per cent believe it should be reduced.
FSB regional chairman Ken Wigfield said: “We understand that councils across the UK are struggling to make ends meet, but we urge them to look at the bigger picture, especially around the knock-on effects of excessive business closures in our town centres.”
Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics as well as running a tutoring company.
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