Finding a parking space isn’t always straight forward, especially if you’re hunting for one in a city.

While most might think the capital is the most difficult location to find public bays, a new study claims there are six cities where it is likely an even tougher task.

Comparing the number of cars registered in the area and the volume of public spaces up for grabs, Birmingham has been named Britain’s most difficult city to park a car.

Parking headaches: A study has estimated which cities are the hardest to find a public parking spot, based on the number of available spaces and cars owned by locals

Parking headaches: A study has estimated which cities are the hardest to find a public parking spot, based on the number of available spaces and cars owned by locals

Analysis was undertaken by vehicle leasing firm, All Car Leasing, using car park data and registered vehicle statistics held by the Department for Transport.

Outside of London, researchers used Parkopedia as the source for the number of spaces in each parking facility in the respective cities.

For the capital, it used Park Mark, which is part of the Police Crime Prevention Initiative’s safer parking scheme and managed by the British Parking Association. 

To give an indication of where parking spots might be few and far between, it worked out how many motors there are per space in each area. 

Despite having over 12,000 parking spaces, Birmingham came out as the hardest place to grab a parking bay.

With over 600,000 registered cars in the city, there is an estimated 51.5 cars for every space available.

CITIES WITH THE FEWEST PUBLIC CAR PARK SPACES PER REGISTERED CAR 
Rank Town/City Public Parking Spaces Registered Cars Cars per Space
1 Birmingham 12,304 634,260 51.5
2 Edinburgh 4,478 178,340 39.8
3 Bradford 5,350 207,540 38.8
4 Leeds 14,075 410,840 29.2
5 Stoke-on-Trent 3,961 110,750 28
6 Sheffield 8,781 221,670 25.2
7 London 107,853 2,661,026 24.7
8 Northampton 5,510 112,060 20.3
9 Coventry 7,105 139,950 19.7
10 Wolverhampton 5,943 109,970 18.5
Source: All Car Leasing 

Second on the list is Edinburgh, with the Scottish capital having one space to every 38.9 vehicles.

Next in the list was Bradford (38.8 cars per space) followed by Leeds (29.2), Stoke-On-Trent (28.0) and Sheffield (25.2).

These cities were all ahead of London, which – according to the study – has 107,853 public spaces for over 2.6 million cars registered in the capital.

That means there is an estimated public bay for every 24.7 motors owned by residents in the city.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Norwich has the highest allocation of public parking spaces per vehicle owned in the city.

With 8,522 parking spots and 52,590 registered cars, there is a space for every 6.2 motor owned by locals.

Reading (7.5 cars to every parking space), Southampton (9.1), Bournemouth (10.0) and Belfast (11.1) completed to the top five. 

CITIES WITH THE MOST PUBLIC CAR PARK SPACES PER REGISTERED CAR 
Rank Town/City Public Parking Spaces Registered Cars Cars per Space
1 Norwich 8,522 52,590 6.2
2 Reading 8,824 66,620 7.5
3 Southampton 10,781 98,140 9.1
4 Bournemouth 8,756 87,550 10
5 Belfast 12,616 140,380 11.1
6 Glasgow 17,965 204,150 11.4
7 Nottingham 8,142 97,870 12
8 Manchester 12,624 159,350 12.6
9 Plymouth 9,032 114,570 12.7
10 Cardiff 11,475 145,870 12.7
Source: All Car Leasing 
Researchers used Parkopedia and Park Mark to identify how many public car parking spaces are available in each city. This was then compared to registered vehicle stats held by the DfT

Researchers used Parkopedia and Park Mark to identify how many public car parking spaces are available in each city. This was then compared to registered vehicle stats held by the DfT

Cities suffered a £40m Covid-19 parking fine black hole 

City councils in the UK lost tens of millions of pounds in revenue from parking enforcement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a sign of how much councils rake in from parking fines, with Britons in lockdown, unable to visit certain locations and many working from home between April and June 2020, 19 of the largest UK cities – including London – pocketed just £16.6 million from parking fines.

That compares with £55.7 million generated in the same period last year, a decline of 71 per cent and a loss of £40.1million in revenues.

As well as the plummet in city footfall due to the pandemic, some councils also rolled out free parking for key workers during the early weeks of the nation going into lockdown.

April yielded a record-low parking-related penalty charge notice figure, down 85 per cent year-on-year, data from a freedom of information request revealed.  

The study results come as new figures have shown the increasing trend for car park operators installing Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras.

In just two years, the number of planning applications to use the devices in car parks increased by 61 per cent, according to research from Churchill Car Insurance.

The cameras are frequently used to enforce supermarkets, retail estates, fast food restaurants, hospitals and transport hubs such as train stations – and have been heavily criticised for being overly ruthless to unsuspecting motorists.

ANPR cameras have caused much debate as, in some cases, drivers have been automatically issued tickets when they say they did not overstay the car park’s time limit.

This is Money has also seen cases of motorists being penalised when using the same car park more than once in a single day or when drivers didn’t know there was a time limit on free parking.

Some 9.8million drivers, in non-council operated car parks, are caught by ANPR cameras and issued parking tickets each year, the data claims.

Motorists paid fees totalling £1.07billion after being caught by ANPR parking cameras in the last 12 months alone, with £2,030 generated every minute.

The average penalty currently stands at £68.90 – the equivalent of £2.9million every day.

Some 3.4million drivers also received a penalty due to overstaying the allotted time slot – the most common reason for ANPR based tickets.

SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING

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