Smart Parking

In this Parking Knowledge blog we look at the need for smart parking solutions. Smart parking solutions are a potential quick win to benefit drivers, local authorities and business improvement districts looking for improved footfall.

Research undertaken by the British Parking Association found the average driver in the UK spent almost four days (91 hours) looking for parking spaces in 2016. This wasted time not only frustrates drivers, but also has wider implications, such as; increased vehicle congestion, increased emission levels and results in lost revenue opportunities to both car park operators and the businesses that car parking is there to support.

Ease of access to the high street is directly linked to footfall, so it is essential that motorists can quickly and efficiently undertake the parking process.

By introducing smart parking technologies, practices and policies, the following benefits can be attained:

  • Reduced vehicle emissions; enabling cars to park more efficiently or even discouraging cars will reduce vehicle movements and therefore reduce emissions.
  • Reduced congestion; more efficient parking and discouraging cars will reduce use of the public highway.
  • Increased productivity; reducing the time taken to park will enable the motorists’ time to be more productively spent.
  • Reduction in circling time; informing motorists of available parking will reduce the time taken to park.
  • Increased attraction of town/city centres; parking is often the first and last impression and both positive and negative experiences will reflect on the town/city centre.
  • Efficient mobility experience; by reducing time taken to park and undertake the payment process a more efficient experience will be had.
  • Increased footfall; efficient parking and parking polices designed to promote people over vehicles will enable greater levels of footfall.
  • Additional revenues for authorities; by increasing parking events, encouraging parking dwell times and reducing non-payments.
  • Enhanced accessibility; if parking can be easily identified and obtained the accessibility to the end goal will be enhanced.
  • Cost savings; new technologies will help reduce operating costs.

Typical features of smart parking solutions are:

  • Use of apps/websites; to enable motorists to check parking space availability before setting out or even during their journey.
  • Provide GPS guidance to space; with real-time estimate of arrival using apps.
  • Gather vehicle information; for payment, compliance and space management.
  • Ticketless and cashless payments;  to reduce time spent on parking process and reduce parking costs.
  • Maximise use of available parking; to enable more customers to park and use the facilities of local businesses.

From a transportation view point, smart parking solutions can:

  • Reduce congestion
  • Give greater travel choice
  • Encourage active/healthier travel
  • Improve air quality
  • Reduce demand
  • Shift demand
  • Manage demand

Parking is a means to an end and the more efficiently and effectively we can make that process the more time we can spend at the end, which benefits everyone!

If you’re interested to review your parking operations and take a ‘smart parking’ review, Park Consult have teamed up the town centre regeneration experts – People & Places to provide a collaborative approach – People Places & Parking Process, with the specific objective of assisting councils in maximising their car parking facilities, to the betterment of the urban centres they support.  This expertise from different fields enables us to bring together stakeholders, collect data, identify the real issues and opportunities, undertake valuable market research and to devise and implement deliverable car parking strategies, which encourage the social and economic growth of urban centres.

The People Places & Parking Process is a multi-leveled approach designed to suit every budget and need. To receive further detailed information regarding the scope of our services please email, enquires@parkconsult.co.uk or should you simply wish to discuss your specific needs or our services please feel free to call: 01332 901592.

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