Parking enforcement is a contentious subject. The tabloid and local press frequently cover stories of perceived unreasonable behaviour by the parking companies who manage car parks on behalf of landlords and public organisations such as hospitals or universities.
On occasions these criticisms are justified as enforcement has been perhaps over zealously applied or mistakes have been made. The same newspapers very rarely report on parking related good news stories where a parking company has gone out of its way to help a stranded motorist or rescinded a parking charge. Hence the general public has a very jaundiced view of parking companies.
With increasing numbers of cars on the roads and limited places to park, responsible and fair parking enforcement is a necessity. We’ve all been victims of finding the final space in a car park only to find a car parked inconsiderately rendering it unusable, or worse still, a disabled person unable to get into their car due to another driver’s inconsideration.
Social media is full of groups and images highlighting these indiscretions usually with a comment of ‘Where’s a traffic warden when you need one’. So most people accept that fair and appropriate parking enforcement is needed as bad parking frustrates and causes irritation.
The parking industry has in recent years closed down rogue operators and is actively cleaning up its act and rightly so. There is still work to be done but it is going in the right direction and initiatives such as the Positive Parking Agenda and Peoples Parking definitely help.
The Positive Parking Agenda
The PPA is an initiative started by a group of local authorities, assisted and supported by the British Parking Association. Its aim is to provide effective and positive communications, promoting innovation and the use of technology for the benefit of all. The campaign priorities are:
- Congestion: Reducing congestion, helping drivers find spaces quickly and easily
- Safety: Improving road safety, reducing the severity and number of traffic collisions.
- Air quality: Improving air quality, reducing congestion and dwell time in finding spaces
- Accessibility: Improving access to services and the economic vitality and vibrance of town centres and high streets.
- Technology: Supporting a more mobile society by embracing new technology
- Working together: Providing a more efficient and accessible road network
- Fair: Delivering a more effective, efficient and consistent parking management service.
The Positive Parking Agenda has now been signed up to around 150 Local Authority and private companies, ourselves included, all intent on making the parking experience a better one for all concerned.
People’s Parking, making parking easy
People’s Parking is an accreditation scheme for car parks designed by campaigner and quadruple amputee Helen Dolphin MBE. Various accreditations exist including Accessible for disabled people, Family friendly, Charging points for electric vehicles, Pay by phone and Pre-booking available.
People’s Parking is aimed at improving the parking experience with particular attention to car parks. Improving the facilities at car parks for the motorist is a no brainer for the car park owner as frankly it’s not just ethical, but also makes good business sense. Technology is opening the door to new possibilities of convenience for all motorists as car parks become smarter and new apps are developed for smartphones that make payment and space reservation a possibility and more convenient.
People’s Parking highlights good practice in car park design and those embracing technology highlighting car parks which don’t just have facilities for the disabled and parents with young children, but also those who drive electric vehicles and light commercial vehicles/camper vans. Motorists can also pay their part by parking more responsibly and not abusing disabled and parent of child parking bays, and not blocking pavements which is a problem for pedestrians especially those with reduced mobility such as wheelchair users or those with young children.