A new personalized parking scheme that helps electric vehicle (EV) owners locate car parks with charging bays, and aids other drivers with special needs find a facility to suit their requirements, has been launched in the UK.
The People’s Parking scheme seeks to recognize how car parks cater for the needs of a variety of different users, including EV users, and a car park finder on the scheme’s website enables people to search for all the facilities they need before leaving the house.
Car parks applying for the People’s Parking accreditation will need to prove they are: well managed; have good signage; are clean and bright; offer good pedestrian access; and that parking rules are enforced, including Blue Badge and Parent & Child bays.
Depending on the facilities offered, car parks can also gain additional accreditations if they are: accessible for disabled people; family friendly; have no height restrictions; provide cycle parking or feature EV charging points.
People’s Parking also offer accreditations for car parks that are convenient for commuters, close to shops, good for airport passengers, and where parking can be pre-booked or paid for by phone.
People’s Parking also highlights the car parks that have facilities for those who drive light commercial vehicles, camper vans, or wheelchair accessible vehicles that may require extra height or width. People searching for a specific type of car park can put in as many special requirements as they need. For example, a disabled person with an electric vehicle who needs a car park with no height restriction, can find a car park that meets all these requirements.
Major parking operators such as NCP, Q-Park and Excel have already got car parks in the scheme, and a growing number of local authorities across the country have also signed up.
The scheme was designed by Helen Dolphin, a quadruple amputee and disability rights campaigner who last year received an MBE in recognition for her services to disabled people. “As a disabled person, I have often struggled to get in and out of car parks,” explained Dolphin. “This is because I find it incredibly difficult to take tickets out of machines and put coins in slots. However, by making a few simple changes, many car parks can make themselves accessible to disabled people.
“But needing to find a car park that meets your specific requirements is not just something that affects disabled people. There are growing numbers of electric vehicles on the roads, and people need to find a car park where they can charge them. Parents with children can also find it difficult to get them in and out of vehicles in standard sized bays, and people driving high-sided vehicles have very little parking opportunities off-street. I therefore came up with People’s Parking to enable people to find a car park that suits their specific needs.”