Businesses across all industries, including ours, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects are expected to last for years to come. The car parking industry is no exception and has been equally affected by COVID-19 restrictions as well as local and national lockdowns.
Parking in a post-COVID-19 world has the potential to look very different from what we are used to. Car park landowners should all explore different management solutions for their properties to keep in line with changing visitor preferences.
How COVID-19 changed car parking
With restrictions encouraging everyone to stay at home and travel as little as possible, there have inevitably been fewer cars on the roads and fewer cars looking for parking spaces.
Many car parks and car parking areas have sought to adapt to these changes. With reduced demand some on-street parking spaces have been transformed into pick-up areas for takeaway food or click-and-collect deliveries. These spaces have shifted away from being areas where visitors can park for up to several hours at a time, into spaces that are only needed for use for a few minutes.
It has been estimated that city-centre parking fell by around 80% during the first national lockdown. With fewer people needing to commute to work and with car sales falling, there became a reduced need for car parks, particularly in commuter areas and large business parks.
The Future of parking after COVID-19
While some changes to the car parking industry will be temporary, there are others that could change the way landowners manage and run their car parks in the longer term.
The use of contactless payment systems have been actively encouraged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is likely to continue to be a popular method of payment due to its convenience.
Some car parks have already implemented mobile and contactless payment options, but those who continue to rely on traditional cash Pay & Display systems may end up losing out on more health-conscious customers.
Remote car park management systems have come into their own in recent years, and their sophistication has only been accelerated by the requirement for less human intervention. Smart parking management systems including ANPR, manage visitors coming into and out of your car park and store their information in the event of a breach of regulation.
This information can also be used to provide visitors with information on the number of available spaces in your car park and collect data on visitor habits and trends, allowing you to more efficiently manage your car park.
The use of smart parking systems has vastly reduced the need for human intervention in car park management and has become a more convenient and efficient way for owners and visitors to use car parks.
- Reduced demand for car parking spaces
It is also likely that in the long term there will be less demand for parking spaces in areas such as large business parks or near public transport. Working from home permanently may not stick around, but it is expected that many people will return to offices only a few days per week as restrictions are lifted.
Shopping trends are likely to change post-Covid, most people are unlikely to make large retail shopping parks a social trip, spending hours walking around browsing many stores, taking lunch and coffee etc. Many will not park in huge city centre multi-story car parks and risk close exposure to others in elevators, stairwells and payment machine congregations.
We are already seeing huge increases in the number of vehicles abusing smaller private business car parks located much closer to the single store or location a driver wishes to visit. Instead of parking and walking as above, many are choosing to park much closer and abandon cars for shorter periods, but in unauthorised locations. This is causing many localised parking issues and frustrating many business and landowners who wish to keep their parking areas available for genuine customers.
Many car parks may be negatively affected by this change in working pattern. Switching to smart parking methods can help to reduce overhead costs with reduced need for human intervention and can act as an incentive for visitors to choose to park in your car park.
Creative Car Park Management Solutions for post-COVID-19
At Creative Car Park we offer a range of car park management systems tailored to suit your business needs and help you to manage your car park during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Our services include;
We’re the trusted UK car parking management firm for businesses in every sector, including:
For more information about our car parking solutions, please do not hesitate to get in touch online or call 03301 244 090.