Monthly journal Parking Review has been the definitive source of news and intelligence on the UK and international public and private parking sectors since 1989.

It’s time we had a break

Let’s hope a few weeks spent sunbathing and eating nice meals will calm frayed nerves

Mark Moran
12 August 2020
Beauty spots such as Snowdonia are attracting `staycationers`, but will the tourists find a parking spot?
Beauty spots such as Snowdonia are attracting `staycationers`, but will the tourists find a parking spot?


The journey out of the nationwide lockdown imposed in March is proving to be one that progresses in fits and starts. The easing of restrictions on how we travel, shop, socialise, study, work and worship has taken place unevenly, sometimes feeling accelerated, at other times slow, and often inconsistent and illogical. The fact that the four nations of the United Kingdom have adopted different approaches and applied different timescales has added an extra element of complexity and complication. However, on the whole, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all travelling in a broadly similar direction regarding opening up the economy, education and tourism.

After months of enforced domestic captivity and a news cycle that, inevitably, underlined the ever present threat of illness and even death, it is not surprising that most everyone feels like they need a break. However, the ‘travel corridor’ concept has proven fragile, with quarantine rules for key holiday destinations lifted but then reintroduced, often at short notice. This means sticking closer to home seems a much less stressful option when it comes to planning summer holidays in 2020.

On the plus side, hot and sunny weather arrived just as people are free to head to the countryside and seaside for either day trips or longer ‘staycations’. The downside, however, is the capacity restrictions that social distancing is continuing to place on rail services means the car will be the primary mode of travel for many of these journeys. This means coastal resorts and rural beauty spots will have to manage an influx of cars over the coming months.

To avoid a summer of gridlocked roads, packed car parks and jammed residential streets, local authorities and destination operators alike are doing their utmost to run their sites safely and with a human face. Many are providing advance travel advice, deploying interactive signs and implementing contactless payment options. Some beach car parks have even introduced pre-booked parking systems that are more usually seen at airports and stadiums.

Sadly, some members of the public have been behaving badly, ignoring social distancing, littering and being generally anti-social. Yes, tempers have been frayed, but abusive behaviour towards frontline parking personnel is never justifiable. Let’s hope that a few weeks of sunbathing, bracing walks and nice lunches in re-opened restaurants will calm everyone’s nerves before the shorter, wetter, and darker days of autumn descend upon us.

Mark Moran is the editor of Parking Review

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