City Science was appointed by Winchester City Council to prepare a Parking Systems & Tariff Review Report, recommending future changes in car parking operations, to meet the council’s strategic ambitions like decarbonisation. Our approach built on the success of our previous parking-related studies, including those delivered in partnership with Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council including the Winchester Station Car Parking Usage & Forecasting Study and the Winchester Park & Ride Demand Study.
Winchester City Council required support to examine the off-street car parking arrangements in the district and to develop a series of related short-term recommendations and priority actions, to deliver over the next five years.
The scope of this study included a review of current the back-office and payment systems architecture, alongside an appraisal of potential new parking tariff options, which align with the council’s strategic ambitions, such as the net zero ambitions within the Winchester Movement Strategy.
CITY SCIENCE RESPONSE
Stage 1 - Back Office and Payment Systems Review: We initially reviewed all of the current software systems, payment systems and contracts that Winchester City Council have in place relating to their off-street car parks, including their relative cost and functionality. This was enriched through our data analysis covering revenue generation, customer payment methods, and an asset review (e.g. payment machines). Our approach to this stage was supported by close engagement with Winchester City Council’s parking managers to ensure we captured and reflected the in-depth practical experience and history of system usage. Using the outcomes of the initial phase, we developed a series of evidence-led future objectives for Winchester’s back office and payment systems such as improved customer satisfaction. We then applied these objectives as the basis to appraise and recommend potential improvement options, such as introducing card payment functionality at certain car parks.
Stage 2 – Tariff Review and Appraisal: Following consolidation of existing and planned future tariffs at off-street car parks in Winchester, we undertook a benchmarking exercise. This considered comparable peer cities (such as Salisbury) and nearby towns (such as Basingstoke) to understand how hourly tariffs compared to Winchester. This was supported by our best practice reviews (such as consideration of carbon-based tariff pricing currently in place elsewhere).
Working in close partnership with Winchester City Council, we developed a series of potential options to change parking tariffs (such as changing zones or adjusting tariffs), to match other comparable locations.
As well as qualitatively assessing these potential options against pre-defined objectives (e.g. reduced vehicle carbon emissions), we utilised our Parking Tariff Model to quantitatively assess the potential impact. Through inputs such as elasticity, current demand and walking distance from each car park to the city centre (using our own Cadence tool), the model was able to predict the potential impact of tariff changes on parking demand and revenue generation.
Our approach throughout this commission involved close collaboration with Winchester City Council’s transport officers (including parking managers), through a series of topic-specific fortnightly workshop-style meetings. This meant we delivered a study with clear recommendations and next steps that directly met their needs. The added benefit of using our Parking Tariff Model meant that Winchester City Council had the confidence that our tariff recommendations were robust, evidence-led and objective for future consideration and implementation.