In the last month, there was a 535% rise in daily traffic to the Zoom.us download page, according to an analysis from the analytics firm SimilarWeb.
If every single working person worked from home just one day a week this would free up significant capacity in your staff car parks, reduce congestion/travel times, and significantly improve air quality.
New parking and sustainable travel technologies will also have their part to play in helping to address these challenges and opportunities.
The Parking Consultancy (TPC) comprises of a number of highly specialised consultants with experience in the car parking, demand management techniques, and employee engagement. Ian Goodwin (Owner and Found) of TPC has chaired the Higher Education Special Interest Group (HESIG) on behalf of the BPA for over 7 years and is an elected member of the BPA Council.
In April 2020 we formed a subgroup of the HESIG, the Blue Badge Working Group. Working with a specialist in this subject area namely Disabled Motoring UK and Steve Goodall from Portsmouth Council, we aim to tackle these new challenges and provide advice and guidance to BPA members and the wider industry, on the future provision of accessible bays, tackling blue badge fraud/misuse and the collation of best practice in this area.
As TPC is independent we offer you impartial expertise and advice, without constraint.
We have developed and implemented a number of successful projects early this year including:
TPC can help to provide advice on advanced parking solutions and sustainable transport planning to help solve your accessibility problems with consideration of social distancing and COVID 19.
Below is a summary of the services we can offer:
So why not give us a call or visit our website to find out how we can help www.theparkingconsultancy.com, tel 07410 117113.
If your role is to manage how people access your workplace you will undoubtedly be trying to forecast what parking and access to your site using sustainable modes of transport will look like in the future, what changes to operation and provision you will need to make and ultimately how things will change in terms of personal mobility.
Before the outbreak of COVID 19 there was the commitment from central government to offer free parking for specific groups in England at NHS sites, namely:
These free parking arrangements at hospital sites have now been extended nationally for all NHS workers. In addition, operators who are members of the British Parking Association (BPA) have been asked to also offer free parking (in private facilities) and cancel any Parking Charge Notices (PCN’s) issued to NHS workers since the COVID 19 lockdown commenced. These free parking arrangements may well be continued as the lockdown eases and potentially become legislation. This will bring new challenges to NHS car park management including increased pressure on finite parking facilities, the need to protect parking for your users and ultimately the need to embrace and support sustainable transport planning, particularly active travel modes.
In August last year, the eligibility criteria for Blue Badge entitlement was extended to recognise people with ‘non -physical conditions’ such as mental health issues. The industry is awaiting a full 12 months of application to allow a full understanding of the increase in demand for accessible parking bays this will create, how they can be provided on your estate and likely timescales. Initial qualitative data from Local Authorities indicates a substantial increase in the amount of blue badge applications.
These are strange and challenging times for the parking industry with most UK operators reporting a loss of revenue of between 90-95% and a similar situation being experienced across Europe.
It frustrates me that sustainable transport planning and car park management are often considered in isolation of one another when in reality one policy should support the other or a holistic accessibility strategy developed.
Very few organizations have a dedicated officer responsible for accessibility management, (particularly at healthcare sites). We see many Trust attempting to ‘build their way out’ of car parking capacity issues and whilst additional capacity is needed at some sites, the introduction and alignment of a well-funded and supported Travel Plan should be a key component in demand management. Transport planning is a strategic enabler to keep your organization going, so who is going to take the lead?
We will be working with academics and a placement student from the University of York over the summer period to start work on the development of an innovative Sustainable Travel technology and we hope to trial this new technology with a cohort of our existing clients over the next 12-18 months before rolling it out nationally.
There are challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Social distancing will undoubtedly reduce the use of public transport in the short to medium term whilst people’s daily exercise routine during the lockdown may well encourage more people to give cycling, walking or running to work a try. Car sharing policies may have to be adapted to adhere to government guidance on social distancing or temporarily suspended. Demand for parking will increase (in the short term) which will put greater emphasis on demand management measures and the need to invest in active travel alternatives. That said the ‘forced use’ of video conferencing has shown most of us that a large proportion of our roles could be done by working remotely (this may allow capacity for others though or space to be re-designated for other uses), as technologies such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have made the use of video conferencing, easy and efficient to use.
Many business and organisations may be quieter over the coming months whilst operations attempt to get back to normal, so why not take the time to consider your accessibility strategy and undertake some of those essential car park infrastructure improvement you have been planning but unable to undertake during normal busy times. Its also a great time to review and invest in your organisation’s Travel Plan or to develop one ready for launch later this year when the COVID 19 situation eases.
Use this ‘time out’ wisely and positively whilst it lasts as before you know it things will be back to relative normality (we all hope) and the opportunity to address your accessibility challenges and problems will have been missed and it will be back to business as normal, dealing with car parking capacity issues and complaints. Be proactive rather than reactive whilst the opportunity is available.