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Drivers walk to avoid parking fees

Tue, 19 Nov 2013

DRIVERS are voting with their feet over parking charges, with most prepared to walk so they do not have to pay.

On average, drivers are willing to walk up to half a mile to dodge parking charges, a survey from market research company Viewsbank found.

A fifth of motorists were prepared to walk a mile or more rather than pay up, with only 11% saying they would rather pay than walk, the poll of 2,053 drivers revealed.

Parking fees at hospitals are the biggest bugbear for motorists, with 86% feeling aggrieved at having to pay them.

This compares with 47% who resent paying to park their car at railway stations and 37% who are unhappy at airport parking charges.

The survey also showed that 18% found it difficult to park near their own homes.

In addition, 76% said parking charges deterred them from shopping in their local town centre and 80% said free parking would encourage them back into high streets rather than out-of-town shopping malls.

Nearly half (49%) said their car had been damaged in a public car park, with only 11% getting a note from the perpetrator giving contact details.

But only 8% admitted damaging another car in a car park, with 67% claiming to have left a note. Also, 32% said they had parked in a pay-and-display car park without paying and 66% had one parking fine in the past three years.

David Black of Viewsbank said: "There is a balance to be struck between cutting traffic congestion and costs for motorists but for many the balance is tilted too far against drivers.

"People are literally voting with their feet and taking direct action to avoid paying a fee, with the average motorist willing to walk half a mile. There clearly is a problem with parking, with many people struggling to find a space near their home."

By Peter Woodman, Press Association