Header image

The National Parking Platform Tipping point Sarah Juggins finds out more about the National Parking Platform and why it is about to change the parking world as we know it eally it shouldnt be called parking any more, commented one delegate at last months Parking Scotland Expo in Edinburgh. The point was expanded upon by Keith Williams, director of Parking Matters and one of the architects of the National Parking Platform (NPP), when he spoke about the development of the NPP at the Expo. Parking operators are being asked to take on more and more, he said. Car sharing, mobility, emissions... the list grows and there is no technical system that covers everything. R Stress-free parking If parking operators are struggling with the multifaceted demands of the job, spare a thought for the motorist. The act of parking a vehicle is, on the surface, a simple enough thing. A driver locates a car park, finds a space, parks their vehicle and depending on the car park type pays on arrival or on exit. When you unpick the processes involved, however, it is clear that this is a far from simple process. You only have to note the number of vehicles circling looking for a space, and glimpse the harassed look on a motorists face as they scramble for cash or feverishly type their details into yet another parking app. On the other hand, a well-integrated parking system can do many things, all of them positive. When parking location apps, digital street signage, public transport services, equipment manufacturers, payment providers and parking operation managers work together, the act of parking a vehicle becomes truly seamless. Not only is this good for all the people involved no stressed motorist, no harassed civil enforcement officer, no inundated call centre staff fielding complaints it is also good for the local environment. It means fewer circling vehicles emitting fumes, a more pleasant, accessible town centre that attracts visitors, and an opportunity to further change behaviours by offering people different, greener travel options. Change for the better is within sight it just takes imagination and a collaborative approach. Parking on a platform This is where the NPP which is funded by the Department for Transport, owned by local authorites and backed up by the Alliance for Parking Data Standards (APDS) comes in, as Williams explains. The APDS was formed following a move by parking associations in the UK, Europe and the US to look at how systems exchange data with each other, he says. It was clear this was a global problem that nations were tackling in different ways. The APDS was formed to bring all these together to have one standard set of data. The other question was: how do local authorities get information on parking out into the community? 14 PN Oct 2022 pp14-17 Lead Feature.indd 14 23/09/2022 11:24