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The cost of ‘free’ parking

Cream coloured commuter bike

'Free' parking isn't free

It's in all our interests to attract people into Bedford over the Christmas period. It's important for our independent businesses and it's important to keep the town centre as a thriving social hub. Are councillors from other parties considering creative, well-researched incentives to draw people in? No, free parking is their suggestion yet again. The only debate is, how much?

In truth, though, evidence from both Sustrans and the Local Government Association show that people overestimate how many potential customers travel by car.

The evidence shows that the greener route of cycle parking actually delivers five times higher retail spending than the same area of car parking.

What about encouraging cycling then, or free/subsidised off-peak buses?

Free parking isn't free, the costs are to our health, impacted by increased pollution and damage to the planet by increased emissions of CO2.

Lucy speaks out in a letter to the Bedford Independent:

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