By Simon O'Hare
Most drivers are willing to walk instead of pay a parking fee, new research suggests.
On average they will walk up to half a mile to evade pricey charges, according to a survey by market research firm Viewsbank.
One in five motorists are willing to walk at least a mile to avoid a charge, the poll of 2,053 drivers revealed.
In total only around a tenth said they would prefer to pay a parking charge than walk.
Hospital parking charges biggest annoyance
Having to pay for parking at hospitals is the biggest annoyance for drivers, the survey showed, with 86 per cent unhappy about having to foot the bill.
Almost half of motorists (47 per cent) said they are not best pleased about paying to park at train stations and more than one in three (37 per cent) said the same of airports.
Some drivers have to contend with parking problems closer to home, with almost one in five claiming such difficulties.
Meanwhile, around three out of every four people (76 per cent) said parking fees deter them from shopping in their local town centre, and 80 per cent said free parking would coax them back to high streets instead of out-of-town shopping centres.
'Clearly a problem with parking'
Almost half have had their car damaged in a public car park, yet just a tenth received a note from the perpetrator giving contact details.
But only eight per cent of respondents admitted damaging another car in a car park and two-thirds claimed to have left a note.
One in three drivers said they had parked in a pay-and-display car park without paying and two out of three have been given a parking fine in the past three years.
David Black of Viewsbank said: "There is a balance to be struck between cutting traffic congestion and costs for motorists but for many the balance is tilted too far against drivers.
"People are literally voting with their feet and taking direct action to avoid paying a fee, with the average motorist willing to walk half a mile.
"There clearly is a problem with parking, with many people struggling to find a space near their home."