Overhead view of rows of cars in a parking lot under a light dusting of snow in winter

Is your car park winter ready?

Help and guidance for your car park winter maintenance plan

As the firstly flurries of snow arrive, it’s important for those who manage vehicle parking areas to plan for the months ahead and have a plan of action to help minimise the disruption that snow and ice can inevitably bring.

Severe weather conditions will affect all parking facilities to a lesser or greater degree and regardless of the size or type of parking environment a winter maintenance plan will help your employees, contractors, customers, residents and visitors better deal with hazardous parking conditions and hopefully avoid health and safety issues.

To assist you in putting together a winter maintenance car park management plan, the team at Park Consult have put together a few elements to consider:

  1. Inventory of maintenance equipment and clothing – Check you have the required equipment and clothing to undertake a reasonable level of maintenance
  2. Staff training and health and safety policy – Check that staff are trained in using the required machinery and handling materials and they understand the required health and safety procedures for undertaking the required tasks
  3. Snow clearance contract – If you use the services of snow clearing company check that your agreement is up to date and they are ready and able to undertake the required work
  4. Decision making – A suitable person needs to have designated authority to make the decisions required, be it to commence snow clearance or close car parks on the grounds of health and safety. A clear line of decision making will avoid delay and prevent potential accidents occurring
  5. Schedule of maintenance – Organise a schedule of works, with priority areas ranked accordingly
  6. Delegation of duties – All designated employees should know what they are required to do and how to do it
  7. Categories of conditions – It is useful to refer to the conditions by an agreed set of categories, such as:
    • Category 1 – Heavy snow, complete coverage of all surfaces, freezing conditions
    • Category 2 – Heavy snow, complete coverage of all surfaces
    • Category 3 – Snow, light coverage, freezing conditions
    • Category 4 – Heavy frost, all surfaces frozen
    • Category 5 – Light frost
    • This way conditions can be discussed and decisions made between colleagues having an agreed understanding of the conditions, even if they are not present. Maintenance programming can also be scheduled in accordance to categories
  8. Enforcement policy – If the parking area is enforced by either an in-house team or a third party enforcement company, have in place an agreed set of principles to account for the weather conditions. You may wish to suspend such enforcement activities or to limit them to parking contraventions that cause health and safety issues. Either way make sure this is communicated to the relevant parties
  9. Snow clearance – When clearing snow or ice from parking areas, consideration should also be given to ensuring signage is visible, pay machines and barriers are in operation and footpaths are also cleared
  10. Car park closure – Should parking areas need to be closed, have a form of communicating this to motorists as early as possible to reduce the potential disruption this will cause to surrounding highways. Signage, emails, social media are just a few examples of how to achieve this
  11. Post weather condition maintenance – Depending on the car park surface and the types of materials and equipment used to clear snow and ice, it is sensible to have a procedure in place to fully clean affected areas, particularly of road salt, which can lead to surface and structure corrosion if exposed over time

Should you require a more detailed and site specific winter car park maintenance management plan, the team at Park Consult can assist you. If you would like to discuss your winter parking management plan or any wider car parking related requirements, our team of parking experts would be pleased to assistance you, so do not hesitate to contact us.

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