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, or should you simply wish to discuss your specific needs or our services please feel free to call: 01332 901592.

Take your car park to another level !

Parking demand outstripping supply?

Customers, employees, visitors not able to park?

Need a cost- and time- effective solution?

A modular steel car park decking system could be the solution you require. The benefits of such systems are:

  • Installation speed: Decks can be installed within a few weeks or even days, subject to size.
  • Cost: in comparison to a concrete construction, there is a significant cost saving.
  • Car park operation: Up to 75% of the existing car parking operation can be maintained whilst a decking system is installed.
  • No Foundations: For single deck builds, the steel structure can simply be bolted to the ground.
  • Versatile use: When the decking system is no longer required it can be disassembled and moved to another location to be reassembled.
  • Additional uses: A decking system can also enable alternative uses above your car park, be it commercial, leisure, or residential space.
  • Environmental: The steel is 100% recyclable material, which is easily removed if the land is required for an alternative use.
  •  Solar panels can be fitted and batteries used to store electricity to power lighting, electrical vehicle charging and supply power to neighbouring buildings or for resale to the national grid.


If you would like to discuss the feasibility of using a car park deck system, then please do get in touch, the team will be pleased to assist you.

Park Consult is a car parking consultancy firm that provides independent specialist advice on maximising the use and revenue potential of car parking operations from residential, to employment, to retail, to pay parking environments. We can bring our skills and knowledge to assist you in delivering first class parking facilities within your development.

RAC Report on Motoring 2016

Concern over the availability and cost of parking has significantly increased amongst UK motorists, according to RAC’s annual report on UK motoring.

18% of motorists say the cost of parking is now one of their top four motoring concerns, with 14% of motorists stating the availability parking is one of their top four concerns.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said ‘Motorists are very clearly more concerned about the availability of parking than they were 12 months ago, adding that struggling to find somewhere to park could have ‘ very negative effect on businesses in our town centres, whose viability affects the prosperity of UK high streets’.

Read the full report here: RAC Report on Motoring 2016


Pay and display ticket expiry extended with 10 minutes grace period

The British Parking Association has announced a major update to their code of practice, which will now require their approved operator members to provide a minimum grace period of ten minutes. This brings private car parks into line with car parks run by local authorities who are required by law to observe a ten minute grace period in the same circumstances.

This move will undoubtedly be welcomed by motorists, coming into effect on 1 October 2015.

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