Parking facilities have a positive impact on the quality of life in urban areas and in large cities in particular. After all, a city is more attractive if there are fewer cars on the streets. With our parking facilities and services, we contribute to the accessibility of vital functions, such as public transport hubs, train stations, airports and Park+Ride nodes in particular. Locations we service include local government offices, hospitals, schools and universities, points of interest as well as shopping centres.
Reducing traffic searching for a place to park saves time and has a positive impact on air quality in the city. And when cars and bicycles park underground, this frees up the public space for greenery and other purposes. All this means we have an indirect influence on the well-being of people.
We work together with municipalities to establish fair parking tariffs that contribute to the quality of life in urban areas. It is in the interest of municipalities, as well as Q-Park, to tune parking tariffs for different facilities and distances, such as parking on-street or in parking facilities, and in the city centre or at the outskirts of the city.
By engaging municipalities in dialogue on these matters, we want to use our expertise to make a contribution to the accessibility and sustainability of cities. We actively seek collaboration with local governments so that regulated and paid parking become an integral part of urban mobility.
At Q-Park we endeavour to provide a range of parking solutions for easy access to city destinations. These can be at Park+Ride, inner ring, or city centre locations.
Figure 5 Economic access with P+R and P+W solutions
Even though municipalities throughout Europe are increasingly imposing restrictions on city centre access by cars, some access is required to be inclusive to all sections of society. Some visitors prefer to travel as close as possible to their final destination by car and are willing to pay for that service, others opt for a journey including Park+Ride or Park+Walk.
Inner-ring purpose-built parking facilities in particular enhance accessibility while maintaining mobility. They reduce inner-city search traffic and on-street parking which in turn improves the liveability for residents and visitors alike.
Car parks located at varying distances from the city centre give motorists a choice to park further away at a more economic parking tariff or park nearest to their final destination at a higher tariff.
Towards the end of 2019, Q-Park Netherlands introduced Event Parking. Event organisers can include a link to the Q-Park Netherlands website event parking page where they can purchase parking for the theatre, concert or sports event they will be attending.
Figure 6 Q-Park NL - Event Parking
- accessibility to amenities such as public transport, hospitals, shops and events;
- decreasing traffic searching for a place to park;
- freeing up public space for green parks and social squares;
- opportunities to reduce on-street parking;
- nudging motorists to make informed choices;
- creating sustainable parking solutions;
- decreasing subsidised parking, by pursuing the 'user pays' principle.
At Q-Park, we partner with hospitals and healthcare facilities whenever we can because this allows the hospital to focus on its core business of healthcare while we can focus on the parking.
Good parking facilities help hospitals run smoothly. Patients arrive on time and are less stressed for their appointments. For hospital staff, good parking facilities provide a convenient end to their journey which means they will start their shift in a positive frame of mind.
Some may argue that parking at hospitals should be free, but regulated and paid parking is the best method for an efficient healthcare centre to meet the parking needs of staff, patients and visitors with the limited space and resources available.
At Q-Park we know that parking is never free. There are often transport alternatives to using a car and especially in a healthcare setting, for those who can, we recommend encouraging visitors to use active transport such as walking or cycling.
This relieves pressure on the limited parking capacity available and ensures that there is always a parking space for those who really need to travel by car.
- the parking capacity required;
- a bespoke tariff structure;
- specific parking products;
- a nudging mobility menu per target group.
- extra spaces for blue badge holders;
- wide parking bays, preferably angled for easy access;
- specially trained Parking Hosts, committed to providing friendly and respectful service in line with that of the hospital’s own policy and procedures;
- separate parking areas for staff and visitors.
Figure 9 Diagnosing parking needs for hospitals
In 2019, Q-Park added one hospital parking facility in France to the hospital portfolio, bringing the total number of parking facilities dedicated to serving hospital parking needs to 52.
Governments and municipalities are committed1 to providing access to public transport and amenities for all citizens, including persons with reduced mobility (PRMs).
More than 80 million people in the EU, about 16%, live with a disability of some kind, often affecting their mobility. Considering the inevitable reversal of the population pyramid and that more than one-third of people aged over 75 have an age-related condition that restricts their mobility to a certain extent, providing easy access to public amenities is vital.
- wide walkways that provide ample space for wheelchair users and people using walking aids such as a walking stick, crutches or a frame;
- spaces for disabled motorists are always located close to the pedestrian exit to minimise walking distances;
- threshold-free access from the pedestrian area to the parking deck;
- wide doorways;
- ramps with gentle incline and lifts suitable for wheelchairs and buggies;
- safe handrails and protection under tapering constructions;
- easy to read signage with sufficient colour contrast;
- more than sufficient lighting levels.
Figure 11 Inclusive mobility for PRMs
In our parking facilities we have allocated multiple spaces for motorists with special needs, whether they are parents with young children and buggies or passengers with reduced mobility.
In 2018, we started to collect this information in our back-office systems for display on the country websites per parking facility.
In 2019 we allocated more parking spaces in our owned and long-leased (O+LL) parking facilities (PFs) to people with reduced mobility and more of these PFs have lifts.