Research Output

Parking enforcement activity and public attitudes to enforcement: a case study of Edinburgh, Scotland (UK) in the context of the EU Push and Pull project

  Effective parking enforcement is absolutely critical to the effective operation and to the public acceptability of on-street parking policy. Very little empirically-based academic research has however been devoted to this topic; one of the more recent empirically-based articles related to enforcement is Cullinane and Polak (1992), and this has only been cited by a further 15 authors since. Instead, the majority of the literature in the field takes the form of econometric modelling of different enforcement scenarios at differing levels of parking demand (see for example Nourinejad and Roorda, 2016). The importance of (improving) enforcement to cities is amply demonstrated by the experience of the city partners in the IEE STEER Push and Pull project (, for which both of the authors have carried out training work.
Two key research questions to be investigated empirically are, firstly, the relationship between parking enforcement activity and parking compliance; and, secondly, the relationship between public perceptions of parking enforcement activity and the acceptability of parking enforcement. This paper will investigate these relationships by means of two linked surveys set in the context of the inner-city of Edinburgh, Scotland, a city that has had on-street parking charging since 1974 and that has had a decriminalised municipally-specified (but privately operated and managed) on-street parking enforcement operation since 1998.
The first survey will measure enforcement activity by means of observation of parking attendant activity (enforcement with vehicles with cameras and ANPR is not used in Edinburgh as much parking payment is still via display of printed tickets) in relation to the requirements of the parking enforcement contract; and related parking compliance, on different types of street. The second public opinion survey of people parking in the controlled parking zone will seek to understand their perception of where and when enforcement takes place, their view on the relationship between the level of fine and the severity of the offence, and their general view on the need for enforcement of parking regulations. Respondents will also be asked questions to segment the sample in terms of their attitudes to car use to add further depth to the analysis of the responses. The overall objective of the two surveys will be to understand whether public perceptions of enforcement are accurate and whether enforcement activity or policy could be changed in any way to increase its public acceptability.
K. Cullinane, J. Polak. Illegal parking and the enforcement of parking regulations: causes, effects and interactions. Transp. Rev., 12 (1) (1992), pp. 49–75
Mehdi Nourinejad, Matthew J. Roorda. Parking enforcement policies for commercial vehicles. Transportation Research A, 2016 – article in press. doi:10.1016/j.tra.2016.04.007

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    28 November 2016

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HE Transportation and Communications

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    388 Transportation; ground transportation


Rye, T. & Llewellyn, R. (2016, November). Parking enforcement activity and public attitudes to enforcement: a case study of Edinburgh, Scotland (UK) in the context of the EU Push and Pull project. Paper presented at International workshop on the economics of parking, Barcelona, 28th November 2016, University of Barcelona



Parking enforcement, on-street parking, transport policy, parking compliance,

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