With the increasing use of new technologies within the parking industry, many wonder whether warden patrols are becoming a thing of the past. The simple answer is that wardens are still an essential element in the management of parking, although their role is changing.
Gone are the days when a warden was armed only with a pen, a notebook and a good memory. Technology is everywhere in modern life. Like any other worker who deals with information as part of a larger management system, the parking warden needs to be connected to the constantly updated database that represents the current use of the parking spaces under their control. The job is changing, and the inevitable increased use of technology such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), wireless sensing devices and electronic payment will take away a large part of the traditional role. Parking management is now less about penalising drivers but providing a service, allowing for the efficient movement of traffic and the best use of finite parking space. Technology has a vitally important role in closed parking areas such as multi-story or underground parking, particularly parking within shopping centres, where the constant movement of traffic in and out of the car park needs to be effectively monitored and managed.
ANPR cameras are positioned at the car park entrance and exits to capture and process the details of all vehicles entering and leaving. This is the ideal system for resolving the problem of drivers persistently avoiding payment, or the unauthorised use of private free parking. It allows for the recognition of all unauthorised vehicles in the car park, or any vehicles exceeding the maximum time limit. Drivers who have contravened the car park's terms and conditions will receive a parking charge notice in the post within 48 hours. ANPR reduces confrontations with car park operatives, making the process stress-free for employees and drivers alike. Information on vehicles collected by ANPR machines is always accurate and has been shown to reduce the number of appeals made by drivers. Management of a car park with ANPR is noticeably more efficient.
Combined with other technological advantages such as mobile payment apps and other E-payment methods, as well as automatic sensing of vacant car park spaces, ANPR provides the bedrock on which the new parking revolution is based. These technologies also represent a considerable saving of man-hours, which translates into a significant saving on running costs. In some areas of the country, cashless payment systems have been so successful that cash payment options have been made redundant. A range of new technical skills is now required by car park operators, as well as skills in procurement, contract management, monitoring of service standards, and good customer service and communication skills, particularly where customers need to be familiarized with the new systems, or when issues need to be resolved.
Ryan Jackson is the Managing Director at Gemini Parking Solutions. To discover how modern ANPR technology can help resolve your parking issues please visit: http://www.geminiparkingsolutions.com