An empirical examination of the growing phenomenon of off-site residential car parking provision: the situation at UK airports

Parking management is a strategy that has been extensively employed by authorities and organisations world‐wide in an attempt to address traffic‐related congestion and associated environmental impacts. Airports are no exception and parking control and pricing regimes are used to raise additional revenue and manage traffic demand. However, within the last five years a new trend in unregulated off‐site, predominately residential, car parking provision around UK airports has emerged and rapidly grown in popularity. The aim of this paper is to investigate this new phenomenon. Through an in‐depth analysis of three self‐styled „parking marketplace‟ websites, this paper provides an empirical examination of the growing phenomenon of off‐site residential car parking provision around the UK‟s 25 busiest passenger airports. Data is provided on the supply and demand for these alternative spaces, insights into the physical location, attributes, and pricing regimes of these spaces is provided, and the potential implications for airport revenue, parking control, passenger safety/security, and airport‐community relations are discussed. The empirical findings indicate that, while it is still at a relatively early stage, this parking phenomenon is experiencing rapid growth. The paper concludes by contending that airport operators and local authorities need to be cognisant of the existence of, and the challenges and opportunities associated with, alternative parking provision in order to be able to better plan for, and respond to, its complex revenue, planning, environmental, and consumer implications.