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Private parking enforcement operators

Private car parks are big business. They and their corresponding car park operators are universally typically features of relatively advanced countries with at least fairly complex infrastructures and an at least fairly dense motoring environment.

Parking enforcement solution

Therefore, one would not expect to see much professionally run private car park operating going on in sparsely populated desert-like countries. It is countries such as Japan and the United Kingdom that have and are expected to have a great deal of private car park operators.

The car park is the natural follow-on from the once ubiquitous carriage parks and cab stands of the horse and carriage era. Whereas the carriage and cab specially designated stands were largely used by and for the relatively privileged, the car park is for the common man.

The alternative to the private car park is on-street parking, typically. Either way and especially in urban areas there is a cost. In the case of the public parking space the car park operators are the local governments. In the United Kingdom, income from parking charges is a large part of the income of the local authority. In the case of the private car park operators, the income goes to reward the shareholders.

There is a section of private car park operators that have a restricted clientele, most usually the customers and staff of a company, large or small. Keeping unwanted third parties out, therefore, is a major aspect of this kind of private car park keeping. In a university, for example, there are frequently rules that restrict car parking to only senior students and staff members. In one British university there is apparently a discussion in progress about banning technicians from using the car parks because that is a ‘privilege’ that might be limited to senior staff only.

The march of automation has reached the world of the private car park operators. Already, there is a fully automated private car park in Hungary where there are almost no staff at all. What happens is that the customer logs himself in with his bank card then automatic, machinery takes over, lifting the car into moveable lifts and finally logging the customer and his car out at the end.

There is a huge amount of literature about the parking patterns within car parks. For example, in North America but not so much in Europe, there is ‘angle parking.’

There are ecological issues at work here. For example flood control specialists are concerned about private car parks, especially large ones. Owing to water run-offs flooding in adjacent areas is a worry and in the flood plains of the British Isles private car parks, especially big ones, are a non-no. Technology tries to come to the rescue here by providing porous materials for the parking surfaces but, again, the downside is that pollution beneath makes for a problem. Cars and motor vehicles in general are highly polluting.

This is a fast developing field and we have barely scratched the surface.