Whitehaven Parking Study

Whitehaven is undergoing significant regeneration. It has developed a town masterplan that sets out a vision to redevelop much of the North Shore, replace many town centre car parks with a combination of retail and office space and change the dominance in the town centre of car traffic and use. There is a considerable need to identify suitable locations to bring forward affordable housing.

Parking Perspectives provided the technical lead for a study to assess current use and parking need in Whitehaven, with a view to ensure parking supply supports the regeneration ambitions of the town over the medium and longer term.


The project included a comprehensive three-day survey programme to establish baseline and user attitudes. This included observation and analysis of 31 off-street car parks (totalling over 2600 parking spaces) and 7 on-street parking beat areas around the town centre. The survey programme covered a weekday and a Saturday.

Over 200 car park users were interviewed to gain an insight into their origin, destination and purpose for visiting the town centre.

At the two rail stations in Whitehaven, interviewed over 100 rail users to obtain origin, destination and purpose, as well as travel mode to the station and parking location (in local residential streets).

Respondents were also queried about their intended spend in town and reasons for using the internet and alternative destinations for previous purchases.

As part of the study an inventory and photograph record of all formal and informal cycle parking and usage was collected as a stand-alone technical addendum.

Baseline Analysis

Our Baseline Report confirmed overall parking demand to available supply as well as illustrating the distribution of demand to supply. The work has been significant in providing evidence regarding the adequacy of short stay parking and highlighting opportunities to improve the current parking configuration to better serve the town’s needs.

Future Parking demand

For future developments in Whitehaven we have estimated the parking demand by taking the land/building area, estimating peak staff numbers converted to parking demand.

This has supported definition of an overall parking strategy and recommendations to deliver parking of an appropriate size in the locations required to best meet the requirements of businesses, commuters, visitors and residents.

Our work has focused on ensuring parking supports the wider regeneration needs of the town, by:

  • Adapting to the loss of supply for key housing and development needs.
  • Proposing how existing parking supply can be utilised more effectively for shoppers, visitors and workers.
  • Setting out a spatial plan for the existing and proposed supply that encourages sustainable travel choices and enables a viable modern town centre offer.

Client: Cumbria County Council, Copeland District Council