We were wondering recently how many parking spaces there are in London, and it appears that nobody knows [EDIT: or maybe they do! See update at the bottom of the page], mainly because responsibility for the roads network is split between Transport for London, who run the 580km Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) system of main roads, and the 33 boroughs who run the local roads.
So we made an FOI request to TfL asking how many parking spaces there are on the TLRN. The answer is ‘about 19,210’, including loading/unloading bays. It is approximate because
The parking bays on the TLRN are not marked out as individual spaces and as such the figures provided in the attached spreadsheet are indicative figures only. These are based on a vehicle length of 4.8m and are therefore the maximum number of spaces that could be available on the red routes.
That implies that parking or loading bays take up a total length of around 92km of the TLRN, or about 16% of its total length.
The spreadsheet included with the answer breaks down the total by road and by type of space, with London-wide totals as follows:
Parking & disabled persons’ vehicles: 9,640
Loading/unloading & disabled persons’ vehicles: 5,276
Loading and unloading only: 1,800
Disabled persons’ vehicles only: 422
Borough bays: 4,072
Update: Maybe we spoke too soon. It appears TfL commissioned a ‘London Parking Supply Study’ in 2000, which arrived at an estimate of 6.8 million car parking spaces in London. See this report [.docx format] of a Transport Statistics Users Group seminar in 2001. There was an update carried out in 2005, which we have put in an FOI request to TfL for.