Our aim is to deploy paid parking to improve the accessibility and quality of life in cities and to distribute the cost of parking to society more fairly.
We want motorists to be able to find a parking space quickly and easily at all times. This is why Q-Park wants to prevent its parking facilities becoming full. A full car park means wasted time and more traffic cruising for a place to park. This creates more congestion on the streets and increases emissions of pollutants.
We endeavour to raise awareness and to influence people's behaviour. We provide online information about the availability of vacant parking spaces and the parking tariff. We do this via our website and the Q-Park app, but also by feeding navigation systems with up-to-date information. In order to steer motorists to a vacant parking space quickly, we are deploying dynamic information systems more and more frequently. These provide up-to-date information about parking locations including the actual number of vacant parking spaces.
An expert's opinion
The greatest concern of the retail sector is that shopping areas are accessible to as many people as possible. The retail offering must be attractive and the accessibility and traffic flow must be good.
If there is an accessibility problem because there are too many parked cars, then regulating parking is the solution. For example, by limiting the parking duration in the immediate vicinity of the shops and providing longer stay parking at walking distance.
If parking is not regulated, many of the available spaces are occupied for a large part of the day by local residents and shop staff. The potential customer may not have to pay, but if there isn't a vacant parking space, then the retailer not accessible.
We develop ICT systems that support customer-friendly services, such as payment by smartphone or payment card, online reservations and payment, purchasing a season ticket, and number plate recognition that enables drivers to enter and exit our car parks conveniently.
What we have achieved
The number of parking facilities (PFs) that provide dynamic information to motorists about parking tariffs and vacant spaces in the neighbourhood has increased again. We expect to achieve our target for 2017.
In France, we have paid a great deal of attention to pricing strategies because of the changed regulations for paid parking; a tariff per 15 minutes has been introduced nationwide. There has also been a sharp increase of the number of publications and events on this topic, but more is needed if we are to achieve our target for 2017.
In Belgium, we are in dialogue with local governments about the benefits of paid parking in parking facilities compared to on-street parking.
The number of parking facilities where the parking tariff is adjusted according to supply and demand decreased to 395. The primary reason for this is a change in the measurement method in Germany. In the United Kingdom, 22 parking facilities were connected to our new online reservation system whereby it is now possible to offer different prices during the day and in the evening.
The number of parking facilities that were full on more than 25 days in a year decreased from 132 in 2014 to 1231 in 2015, so we are now steadily working towards achieving our target in 2017. Reducing the number of ‘Full’ days contributes to accessibility of vital amenities and also reduces the amount of traffic cruising for a place to park.
In our effort towards increasing the sustainability of freedom of movement we like to inform our customers about alternative mobility options (bus or train). We are also happy to offer them information about cheaper parking alternatives so they can make a more conscious choice that suits their needs and budget.
We have not yet achieved our target because sometimes this is commercially sensitive, but we continue to seek relevant mobility information for our customers.
During the biennial EPA award ceremony, Q-Park Netherlands was honoured with the innovation award for the Dutch Open Data Platform.
The Open Data Platform is the Dutch standard for sharing parking-related information freely and this supports keeping traffic moving. The platform is the result of a unique agreement between public and private parties and is intended for developers of navigation systems and apps.
In November, Q-Park UK won the 2015 North of England Excellence Awards for innovation for the Q-Park Rewards App. Using this app, customers can arrange various parking services and get discounts. The app was praised by the jury during the annual awards ceremony which was held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
- No data was available for Ireland; outcomes for 2014 were used.