Kelvin Reynolds was pleased to join the panel at ATCM’s Green High Street 2050 conference to discuss how high streets and town centres can tackle the challenge of climate change.

What a challenge! And one the parking community is fully engaged with. Parking is so often seen as part of the problem in town centres and high streets but in reality, it is part of the solution.

Modern car parks are becoming very energy efficient and delivering so-called blue and green infrastructure: solar power, green walls, water features and EV charging hubs are all features now being delivered by the parking community. Why stop at new builds? Existing parking structures can be repurposed and reimagined to become transport and community hubs, or even energy plants in the own right: in doing this we can support vibrant town centres. 

There is an urgent need to transform the way we travel and the energy we use. The BPA is at the forefront of research and technological innovation, working collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders, determined to help create a cleaner, safer and less congested world where everyone can move around freely and easily. 

If we are to truly tackle climate change then local authorities need to be provided with the full traffic management toolkit which will enable them to reduce congestion and pollution - especially outside schools and hospitals - as well making better use of our roads and kerbsides.

We must improve accessibility for all by encouraging cycling and walking and promoting mobility as a service, especially in the big cities. We must reduce the need to travel in the first place and when we must travel, do so in a sustainable way.

All the time cars are being produced and there are over 39 million vehicles on Britain’s roads every day, with most cars being parked for 95% of their life, then effective and efficient provision and management of parking remains essential.

 

Kelvin Reynolds is Director of Corporate and Public Affairs at the British Parking Association