PLANNING POLICY GUIDANCE
276. Provision of parking capacity is determined
by Planning Policy Guidance issued by the Department for Communities
and Local Government. The Government's guidance on parking provision
is set out in PPG 13 'Transport', which is supplemented by specific
guidance in relation to parking provision in housing developments
in PPG 3 'Housing'. The Department for Transport explained the
objective of the guidance:
The key thrust of this guidance is for local
authorities to use parking policies alongside other planning and
transport measures to promote sustainable transport choices
and reduce reliance on the car for work and other journeys.
PPG13 says that local authorities should set maximum levels of
parking provision (emphasis applied).
277. According to PPG 3 'Housing', residential development
should allow for significantly lower levels of off-street parking
provision in areas of good public transport accessibility and
where effective on-street parking controls exist or can be secured,
such as town centres. Local car parking standards that result,
on average, in development with more than 1.5 off-street car parking
spaces per dwelling are unlikely to reflect the Government's emphasis
on securing sustainable residential environments.
278. Research by Transport Research Laboratory
in 1993 found that peoples' determination to own cars seems to
outweigh all other considerations, including the difficulty of
in areas where parking proved most difficult, the indications
were that people still intended to buy more cars. Indeed, since
the time of the research the number of private cars licensed in
Great Britain has increased from 20,102,000 in 1993 to 25,754,000
in 2004. The PPG
3 Implementation Study, 'Delivering Planning Policy for Housing',
identified that PPG 3's approach to car parking was targeting
car ownership, when it ought to target car usage, if sustainable
transport and accessibility were the objectives.
279. The Commission for Architecture and the Built
Environment suggests that the policies of the Department for Transport
and the Department for Communities and Local Government need to
tie more closely together if either are to succeed.
The Department for Transport told us that the Government is currently
reviewing its policy on planning for residential car parking.
In December 2005 a draft revised version of PPG 3 was published.
This proposes a more flexible, evidence-based approach to parking
levels. PPG 13 was last updated in 2001.
280. We did not receive sufficient evidence to
make specific recommendations about planning policies in relation
to parking provision. Controlling the overall provision of parking
spaces is however clearly an important component of traffic management
and land-use policy. It is also a tool in meeting Departmental
aims to promote sustainable transport and to reduce reliance on
the private car, and it must be given full weight by the Government
in its overall transport policy. The Department for Transport
should consider whether it is time for the Government to evaluate
the success of the guidance on parking provision (contained in
document PPG 13) and to assess how well it has been implemented
Parking provision for 'Blue Badge' holders
281. Overall supply of on-street and off-street parking
capacity determines the accessibility of any town or city centre
for disabled people reliant on car use.
The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee told us:
Meeting Government objectives for managing the
growth in traffic would imply restricting the number of new parking
places in our town and city centres and indeed reducing existing
numbers. We would contend that ensuring adequate access by disabled
people requires a careful consideration of the impact of such
policies on disabled people.
282. Local authorities must have regard to the
needs of disabled people when planning parking provision. Customer
satisfaction surveys with 'Blue Badge' holders should be undertaken
to monitor how well provision meets requirements. Where significant
changes to parking provision are proposed, access arrangements
for people with disabilities must invariably receive full consideration.
We look to the Department for Transport to see that the interests
of people with disabilities are upheld strongly in all aspects
of parking policy at national and local levels.