Transport expert calls for parking rethink in Oz cities

Parking charges in Australia's capital cities must be reformed if the country is to deal with its major urban congestion problems, it has been claimed.

Transport expert Graham Currie suggested that congestion is such a widespread problem because most companies are willing to subsidise their employees' parking.

Speaking to the Australian, he said: "When buildings go up in cities, the parking component is about 37 per cent of the total cost.

"Is that cost passed on to the people who use it or borne by society as a whole? I can tell you it's the latter because most car commuters don't pay their own parking; their employers do."

The comments came as it was revealed that the $20 billion-a-year cost of traffic congestion in Australian city centres is the highest in the developed world as a proportion of GDP.

Aussie motorists looking to cut down on costs could opt to compare car insurance and switch provider. Professor Currie argued that if more drivers were responsible for their own parking costs, which total more than the annual cost of paying for and running a car, the congestion problem might ease.

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