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Case Study

Improvements to Car Parking Operations and Replacing Car Parking Infrastructure

Client:  East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT)

ESNEFT provides healthcare services to around 370,000 people from Colchester and the surrounding area of north east Essex.  In addition, it provides radiotherapy and oncology services across north and mid-Essex.

The Trust’s main acute hospital site is Colchester General Hospital.  This site, which was already experiencing parking difficulties was about to merge with Essex County Hospital and Ipswich Hospital when The Parking Consultancy (TPC) was approached to assist.

Client Issues
Colchester General was suffering with shortages in staff parking (although at the start of this project, visitor parking capacity was sufficient).  However, the merging of sites was about to bring an extra 200 staff onsite per day, as well as dramatically increasing outpatient visits.

There was no assessment of need in place for permit allocation and staff were charged at 0.15% of salary for parking.  Trade Unions had supported increases in staff parking charges in the past but wanted staff to be guaranteed a space to park which was not practical. Proposals to introduce flexible daily charging had therefore been proposed and approved by the Trust Board.

Access control equipment and payment hardware was outdated and need of replacement.

Parking was enforced internally through the issuing of Parking Charge Notices (PCNs), but this process was not effective. There was a lot of ‘unauthorised’ parking on site and loss of revenue due to staff not purchasing a permit to park.

All of this led to oversubscription of the car park.  Attempts at encouraging travel to site by more sustainable modes of transport had failed; a park and ride facility is located only 4 minutes from the site, but the £3 charge discouraged use when parking charges were so low.

Our Solution
After conducting audit work to fully understand the issues at the Colchester General site, it was clear that several approaches were required to ensure that current and future parking would work for the staff and for visitors.

In the first instance, demand for the car park needed to be properly managed through an overhaul of the staff permit system and an increase in staff parking charges to match comparable sites and increase the attractiveness of other non-car modes of travel.

Enforcement of those in breach of the terms and conditions of the car park also needed to be more robust and the signage and hardware for access and charging replaced to allow this.

Services Provided

  • Undertook a full audit of car parking facilities, signage, payment hardware and access control equipment;
  • Developed a detailed Technical Specification of required parking infrastructure, technology and services;
  • Sourced suitable procurement frameworks;
  • Proposed improvements to wayfinding via signage and Variable Messaging Systems;
  • Worked in partnership with the Trust’s Estates and Procurement teams to develop a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) and scoring system for potential suppliers;
  • Reviewed and scored PQQs from potential suppliers;
  • Shortlisted potential suppliers and invited them to the Invitation to Tender (ITT) stage;
  • Developed an ITT following framework procedures;
  • Developed a detailed scoring matrix to assess submitted tenders;
  • Assisted the Trust with interviewing suppliers;
  • Developed post-interview clarification questions for each preferred supplier; and
  • Provided a recommendation report for contract award of submitted final tenders.

The Results

  • TPC sourced suitable frameworks for the Trust’s requirements without the need to use the time and resource intensive OJEU process;
  • We balanced operational efficiency with the need for an improved customer experience e.g. ‘pay on foot’ equipment within the visitor car park and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) for staff parking;
  • We recommended changes to the way in which staff permit eligibility is assessed;
  • Following our recommendation, the Trust increased staff parking charges fairly through the introduction of frequency-based charging;
  • With our help, new hardware and enforcement parking services were procured without capital investment from the Trust;
  • Public parking revenue has increased by over 35% (without price rises); and

Effective car parking enforcement and wayfinding signage was implemented.

“Having worked with The Parking Consultancy over the last two years they have provided excellent support, technical guidance and their knowledge of the parking industry has been invaluable in procuring a suitable mixed methods solution to address the onsite parking issues the Trust had at Colchester Hospital” (David Cohen, Capital Project Manager, East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust)

Contract Data
Duration: 30 months
Contact: Ian Goodwin and David White
Tel: 01430 650343 or 07410 117113