You might have read a story in the Daily Mail this week which says that councils are being told to raise the cost of car parking so that people will be encouraged to walk or use public transport instead.
The health officials at NICE, who make decisions about the nation's healthcare, have suggested that if we raise the cost of parking people will lead healthier lifestyles because it will force them to get more exercise.
Matthew Sinclair from the TaxPayers' Alliance has pointed out that “for most people using the car is a necessity, not a luxury' and we agree with that statement.
Some people need to use a car for accessibility reasons, perhaps because they have a physical disability or because they have small children. For some people driving to work is the only option because public transport doesn't cover their route from home to work or because they have a specialist job that requires them to carry equipment or regularly travel across the country to different locations.
We think it's important to lead a healthy lifestyle but we don't think that raising the cost of parking will make a difference. Lots of our customers in Leeds commute from all over the Yorkshire area and park at Clarence Dock, then they walk to their office – that way they get exercise there and back, five days a week.
The article also highlighted that the council's parking costs in Manchester have increased by 40% since 2008. Affordable parking is important for all areas because without it lots of people wouldn't be able to shop or visit local attractions and local economy would suffer as a result. We take this responsibility really seriously so we've made our parking cost effective for people coming in to the centre of Manchester with rates from just £1.50 an hour – some of the lowest in the city.