The Means was commissioned by London Councils to carry out a review of the relevance of parking to the success of urban centres in July 2012.
The review addressed research questions relating to the correlation between the amount of free / cheap parking and commercial activity (if any), how people travel to town centres and what they spend. It also looked at how town centres can attract more visitors, and also considered questions relating to the night-time economy.
The study involved looking at the evidence from academic and reports from foundations, industry associations and public agencies, such as Transport for London. In addition, a questionnaire was sent out to all London boroughs, requesting data on parking supply, charging and town centre economic indicators, such as footfall (number of visitors), empty retail units, business turnover and the rate of change in businesses in two town centre areas. Finally, data from market research carried out with shoppers at three outer London based shopping centres was analysed. The full report can be downloaded here.