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How to solve your car park problem

The fact is that the property owner has a headache over how to manage his precious car park.


There is going to be a sea change in parking enforcement on account of the Lib-Dem sponsored change in the law now in the Parliamentary pipeline that will outlaw the use of the car clamp. During the clamping days there were only approximately 1,900 clampers in England and Wales so that there was, on average, just one clamper for every 500 square miles of land. The clamp resulted in tremendous ill feelings resulting in heated arguments and even violence. We can assure you that after the ban on the clamp unauthorised parking will continue – without that particular deterrent.

Without being exhaustive here are some of the many solutions you should be reflecting on:

  • Boom gate. In this way the customer in his vehicle presses a button for a ticket at the entry point and pays a cashier whereupon the latter opens the boom gate to let him in. Latterly, the use of the automatic pay station has become popular. Here the driver, just before exiting, pays for having parked there based on the time on his ticket for the boom gate to be opened.
  • In certain large car parks the driver swipes a debit/credit card at a machine at the entry and does the same thing at the exit point; the amount he pays depends on the time elapsed.
  • In some situations, the customer pays staff at a ‘schroff office’ located in the car park based on the time recorded on his automatic entry ticket. The staff at the exit point raise the barrier conditionally on the driver having paid for all the elapsed time, as shown by the receipt.
  • A simple way is for the driver to pay staff at the entry for parking for the whole of that day and presentation of the ticket at the exit enables exit to be permitted via the raised barrier.
  • Parking meters. These need no introduction.
  • Pay and display. The driver pays staff at the entry for a ticket to display on the dashboard. This stops punitive action by patrolling staff who check.
  • Payment by mobile ‘phone. Here the logging of the time of entry, the time of exit and the making of the payment are all by SMS messages.
  • Pre-booking parking. This can be done via companies such as BCP.
  • A method a company called Flashpark has innovated a system that uses the Internet, emailed photographs of wrongly parked vehicles and the DVLA register to identify and fine the unauthorised parker.
  • Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). This costly solution is only for the big boys.

There are other ways of managing this particular chestnut.

We trust we have done our little bit to clarify the subject for you.