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Staff parking planned

The London Borough of Hounslow has provided free parking for its staff, offering about 550 spaces. However the number of staff and visitors tended to exceed the number of spaces. Given staff’s flexible working hours, it was hard to estimate how many employees would be parking on any day.

The council had also seen some problems which resulted in hold ups and queues. Ann Mark, Senior Facilities Officer, was tasked with bringing in and running a new system. Ann wanted ‘a system which could identify vehicles, be flexible with regards to access rights and required minimal administration. Additionally the ability to produce reports to monitor use and identify any abuse of the system would also be helpful’.

Working with the London-based installers Oakray, IDS fitted a ‘pay to park’ system, using their IP ANPR, which allows the council to pre-configure staff number plates – so that only they can gain access to the car park. Data is then stored and used to analyse parking behaviour, allowing the borough to plan parking schedules, almost guaranteeing there will be a space for every employee when they arrive to work.

Ann says: “The reporting function is invaluable as it enables us to monitor the scheme and ensure that staff are registering for it and are adhering to the guidelines.” The IP based scheme means that the onsite security hut can now be moved and the management of car park security is done remotely in a control room. Security staff can now focus on specific tasks rather than physically managing the barrier.

Hounslow might be looking to extend the system, adding cameras to other areas. As everything is operating on one platform, other devices can be added; already the council can have their ANPR linked to their IP intercom.

Ann adds: “In these unstable times it’s important that we know who is on our grounds and when, this new camera system is great. We can make sure that our staff are the only people using the car park and can quickly identify and stop anyone who isn’t meant to be there.”

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