Reform of parking policy needed to encourage lower carbon travel

Transport planning professionals publish a new report recommending parking policy reform to encourage the transition to a sustainable transport system.

The Transport Planning Society (TPS) has released a new report called "Just the Ticket!" outlining eighteen parking policy recommendations to encourage behaviour change towards lower carbon travel.

The report argues that current parking practice inadvertently promotes car ownership and use, as:

  • New developments are often required to provide abundant parking;
  • Parking on verges, pavements and other public spaces goes unchallenged;
  • There is a widespread expectation that parking should be provided, and at a low cost, and;
  • There is little discussion or understanding regarding the costs that the parking of cars and other vehicles can impose on others in society through congestion, noise, pollution, consumption of space and risks they pose to vulnerable road users.

The report provides a comprehensive analysis of various parking policy measures to reduce these impacts and overall car-dependency, in favour of more sustainable modes of transport. The recommendations include:

  • Increased use of charges and taxes for workplace parking.
  • Enabling employers to provide tax-free incentives for non-car commuting to the workplace.
  • Reducing parking provision in residential areas to an agreed timeline as part of a long-term process of reducing car-dependency.

Following these recommendations would make the allocation of road space more efficient and equitable. Parking charges would be fairer by reflecting the impact of the whole car journey on the whole of society.

The changes proposed would deliver benefits both immediately and in the long-term, driving behaviour change and helping decarbonise the way we travel.

Tom van Vuren, Director of Policy at the Transport Planning Society, said:

“Parking is often one of the most hotly contested issues in a neighbourhood, yet the lack of effective parking policy takes public space away from vulnerable road users and more valued alternative kerbside usage, and so contributes to further local air and noise pollution, and congestion.

“This report shows the pivotal role of well-designed parking measures in reducing car dependence and use, promoting alternative modes of travel, ultimately cutting our transport emissions and reclaiming public space.”

Andrew Potter, author of the report and Director at Parking Perspectives, said:

“As all car travel relies on parking at the start and end of each journey, parking policy has a significant influence on how people choose to travel.

“The recommendations outlined in 'Just the Ticket!' offer a clear and practical approach to reshaping parking policy to bring about progressive changes in behaviour needed for a greener transport network.”

ParkLife1First set of recommendations from ‘Just the Ticket!’ (Transport Planning Society, 2023)

ParkLife2Second set of recommendations from ‘Just the Ticket!’ (Transport Planning Society 2023)



Notes to editor

  1. The Transport Planning Society (TPS) is the only professional body focusing exclusively on transport planning in the UK. It represents the views of almost 1500 individual members and 40 corporate members. You can find out more about TPS here:
  2. The full report can be found here.
  3. A graphical representation of the full eighteen recommendations can be found here.
  4. A summary of our key recommendations can be found here.
  5. Ben Plowden, Chair of the Transport Planning Society, is available for interview on request 
  6. For further info contact Alice Edwards at
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