If we want the centre of our UK cities to prosper, our thinking needs to change. Although it’s not just about traffic and parking management, having an improved experience for the driver will certainly have a huge impact on any town centre economic strategy.
Generally speaking, High Streets, including Exeter, in the UK are struggling with declining footfall as consumers increasingly shop online and city centres struggle to balance the requirement for a convenient positive parking experience at an ‘acceptable price’ whilst reducing congestion and carbon emissions. People aren’t ready to leave the car at home yet, and although reliable public transport, park and ride and car sharing schemes are vital, private vehicles still need to be accommodated. Hence adopting smarter alternatives to current thinking is a must to reverse High Street decline.
The technology is here
The technology is already here that improves the experience for motorists visiting towns and cities to find somewhere to park as my experience visiting Ghent in Belgium recently proved. Intelligence such as traffic sensors collecting data from traffic, feed dynamic routing signage that navigate motorists through the local area and car parks in real-time to available spaces indicated by visual indicators.