Edinburgh's St James Quarter: here's how it rates for parking in AA study

Edinburgh's St James Quarter has failed to make the top 20 in a new study.of the best shopping centres for car owners to visit.

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

The AA ranked 35 of the UK's biggest shopping centres based on their parking provision for motorists, including accessibility and affordability.

Hide Ad

The St James Quarter, which opened in summer 2021, was one of those included in the study, which took into account price, the number of spaces for disabled parking and number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

It was ranked 24th out 35, with an overall score of 14.6 out of a possible 50. Sheffield's Meadowhall emerged in top spot, followed by Lakeside in Essex and Bluewater in Kent. Braehead in Renfrew and Glasgow's Silverburn also featured in the top 10, along with Manchester's Trafford Centre and Gateshead's Metrocentre.

The St James Quarter was found to be the second most expensive in terms of parking for up to two hours with a charge of £6.20. The most expensive was Victoria Square, Belfast, at £6.80.

Hide Ad

And the Edinburgh centre was placed third most expensive overall for parking once the cost of parking for a full day (£24) was added to the calculation..

But it scored well for its EV charging infrastructure. Out of the 1,600 parking bays available, 45 have a charging point, the second highest proportion of EV chargers out of all the shopping centres studied (2.81 per cent). Only Westgate in Oxford came out better with five per cent of spaces with EV charging points.

Hide Ad
The St James Quarter was ranked 24th out of 35 shopping centres in the AA survey.

And the St James was just outside the top 10 for the proportion of disabled parking spaces. It has 70 blue-badge spaces among the 1,600 total or 4.38 per cent.

Hide Ad

The study says: "With the steep growth in online shopping in 2020 and 2021, the future of shopping centres and retail stores remains uncertain. Changes to car parking might be introduced to encourage customers back to shopping centres. But centres located in busy city or town centre locations are still unlikely to offer free parking facilities.

"One aspect that's likely to change going forward is an increasing number of EV chargepoints as more and more drivers go electric. It isn’t just the number of EV chargepoints that’s important. Whether the chargepoints are slow, fast or rapid will also have an impact on how attractive the location is to EV drivers.

Hide Ad

"In general, shopping centres might be best to go for a mix to cater for those hoping to charge their car quickly, and those happy to leave it on charge while spending the day shopping.

The St James scored well for its provision of electric vehicle charging points, emerging as second best in the UK.
Hide Ad

“The accessibility of electric car chargepoints is also of increasing importance, and shopping centres, along with other public places introducing charging stations, will need to make sure these can be used by all drivers."

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, added: "Drivers parking at shopping centres do so for convenience, but also expect to pay a reasonable charge for the privilege.

Hide Ad

"As more drivers switch to electric cars, it is clear that more chargepoints are needed, as well as a mix of charging speeds. Retail outlets should also ensure that their chargepoints are accessible to all, as well as being placed in safe, well lit locations."

Read More
Edinburgh secures blockbuster Doctor Who exhibition for show’s 60th-anniversary ...