Private car park enforcement agency
The world of the private car park enforcement agency in the United Kingdom has of 1 October 2012 undergone a sea change in the form of the repercussions of the Protection of Freedoms Act of that year.
This wide-ranging Act of Parliament has the capacity to alter (for the better) the lives of all men, women and children for whom the United Kingdom is home.
Specifically, the Act outlaws as of midnight 30 September/1 October 2012:
- The use of the wheel clamp
- The practice of towing away
Both of which had been before then staple weapons of the private car park enforcement agency world of the country.
All landowners with more than small amounts of parking spaces to manage (that includes Central and Local Governments, but that falls outside the scope of this article) have to take a professional managerial approach to this contentious matter. A bit like ticket touting and charging for deckchairs in parks the conflict between the landowner and the motorist over parking raises tempers and can and does lead even to physical violence (G-d forbid).
We recommend taking the following steps by the landowner as opposed to just the private car park enforcement agency that he happens to use:
- Think up and implement a general parking model that clearly takes into mind: The parking capacity in total, difficulties relating to the specific situation, the goals of the management about parking and what general approach to take. This has to be updated and improved in the light of changing circumstances.
- Think and up create the total range of possible answers to the ongoing parking problems including at the top of the list both making more effective utilisation of existing parking capacity and increasing parking capacity (if required).
- Consider carefully the longer-term implications of the different parking solutions, both direct and indirect, and the chosen attitude to land utilisation.
- Develop combined approaches and (even) contingency planning. There could be a system of first resort, failing which more stringent methods are used.
- Prefer sensible cheaper approaches with maximisation of existing parking capacity plus plenty of room for the pedestrians' needs.
- Plan carefully the pricing policy especially if revenue raising is a priority.
- Use the technology of the day throughout such as: GIS, TDM and Smart Growth.
- There are transport management associations and institutes. Use them. In the UK context the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport has a high repute.
- Develop overspill and emergency parking facilities.
- Get the right people to make parking safe, convenient, environmentally friendly and pro-social.
That is rather a tall order for any management team. We think, nevertheless, that where the subject is large enough detailed and usable planning is the best thing going. We think that good/excellent planning is essential for all parts of life, not just parking matters.
In the British context we are pleased to confirm that the Flashpark system of parking control invented by the company of that name (the brand name of Vehicle Control Solutions Ltd) that utilises:
- The use of the Internet
- The use of digital photography
- Authorisation to consult Government vehicle ownership records
Is the best thing going where all three conditions are met. We think this is the private car parking enforcement agency method of choice. We are confident that this way of parking control will be emulated all over the civilised world.
The best news for some about this is that there are no patents actual or pending on this methodology - so there is nothing to pay Flashpark, or anybody else for using the idea.