Our aim is to enable access to essential urban functions in conjunction with sustainability concerns.
We want to play a role in ensuring sustainable freedom of movement and mobility options for citizens, which is why we offer parking facilities for cars and bicycles at public transport nodes. For this, we seek active cooperation with local authorities. We support the use of more sustainable passenger cars by providing recharging stations for electric and hybrid cars at many of our facilities. We offer reserved parking spaces for customers participating in car sharing initiatives. In doing this, we offer motorists plenty of choice and help ensure the smooth flow of traffic.
From the customer research we have conducted, it transpires that of the many services we provide the presence of toilets and an AED are the most appreciated. That is why we want to have these elements available (or very close by) wherever possible in our owned or long-leased parking facilities.
Parking facility, delivery and storage
At Q-Park Mahler in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have started a partnership with De Buren; a franchise of drop-off and collection points. Customers do not have to be at home for a delivery – they can have their package delivered at a locker for which they receive the opening instructions.
De Buren is operated by DHL and other parcel companies. Q-Park is the first Dutch parking company to offer this logistics solution.
CitySpace had the unique idea of launching new storage facilities in underground car parks right in the heart of London. They are purpose-built, clean, bright white and with brand new storage units to keep customers belongings safe and easily accessible. By having the entrance to CitySpace in our facility, customers now have an alternative reason to visit the car park. It is a great way of using space for multiple purposes and as our customers include residents in the local area, it is ideal for people to store their valuables in one secure location.
Safety and comfort are extremely important for Q-Park. Given the continuing flooding problems around the station at Berchem (Belgium) caused by heavy rainfall, we decided to invest in a self-closing flood barrier to make sure that our customers, their cars, and our employees would no longer be faced with flooding in the parking facility. After heavy rainfall, we successfully activated the barrier, proving that we made the right decision to work together with Aggeres to bring this ambitious project to successful completion.
What we have achieved
Integrated mobility issues are becoming more important to municipalities. Their primary concern is how to improve accessibility and, at the same time, reduce congestion and CO2 emissions. Integrated on-street and off-street parking solutions with bicycle parking provide answers in the short and longer terms. Increasingly, easy access to public transport is a key factor in this equation.
Our proximity to alternative mobility options has increased further, particularly in France, Sweden and Norway. As the chart shows, we have achieved our 30 percent target in recent years and are right on track to achieve our new and ambitious 2020 target of 40 percent.
Parking spaces near a public transport node and/or bicycle parking within 300 metres
In Antwerp, we were awarded the development contract for the Zuiderdokken (2,000 parking and 300 bicycles spaces) and the Handelsbeurs. The latter, which is being constructed under the 16th century structure will host more than 290 cars in the city centre.
We are meeting the city’s requirements for bicycle parking by combining this development with another nearby Q-Park facility. Bikes and cars will then be neatly parked off the streets making the city centre even more attractive.
Yet another example of our collaboration with municipalities to realise innovative solutions for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians and to create a quality environment.
We have seen considerable growth in the number of parking spaces with charging points. In the UK, we have already introduced some rapid charging stations in our facilities in Liverpool and in London.
Together with Chargemaster we are working on putting e-charging anxiety at bay. Chargemaster also operates POLAR, the UK’s biggest public charging network.
In Sweden, we added numerous extra charging stations (with six extra locations in Stockholm) to meet increasing customer demand and to offer greater choice for e-car motorists.
We also have ambitious plans to further expand the options for our customers:
- In the Netherlands, Q-Park is partnering with The New Motion to double the number of charging stations in its parking facilities by the end of 2017.
- In Norway, we expect a substantial increase in demand for e-charging next year due to the introduction of a new parking law for e-charging which states that there must be sufficient number of charging stations in all publicly available parking facilities by the beginning of 2018. Demand will be generated from electric as well as hybrid cars that need charging while parked.
Although the number of parking spaces for shared cars increased considerably in Sweden, overall it decreased – mostly due to partners in Germany and the UK such as Car2Go which scrapped a number of locations or the entire contract.
In Belgium and in the UK, Q-Park is helping to tackle urban mobility with Ubeeqo. Ubeeqo is a car sharing service with an app that brings together all essential urban mobility features: locate a car, book it, and pay for it securely. Ubeeqo also has some parking spaces at Q-Park facilities for their cars.
Parking spaces reserved for electric and shared cars
Recurring customer satisfaction surveys show that our customers appreciate the presence toilets and AEDs the most. The AEDs should be located at a logical, secure and accessible place so they can be taken by trained volunteers or medical personnel when needed.
The number of publicly accessible AEDs has increased to 225 (2015: 214). However, in Belgium, some AEDs have been stolen or vandalised. We decided to only replace these if there were not sufficient AEDs available in the vicinity of these parking facilities.
AEDs publicly accessible
Toilets are present in the car park or there is signage directing people to the nearest toilets, for example in shopping centres. The number of owned or long-leased facilities with toilets available has increased at a slow pace.
Parking facilities with toilet available
Another highly appreciated service is the presence of jump leads. The number of parking facilities with this service decreased from 393 to 384 in 2016, mostly due to Germany. There, jump leads are located in the Lodge of the parking facilities; which means these are not always available to customers. We have therefore removed these from the total.
Here we kept the target for 2020 at 90 percent of purpose-built parking facilities owned or long-leased. This percentage also includes jump leads that are present in the operational fleet and that are therefore available by means of our mobile teams.
Influence of parking policy on retail
The idea of high-quality parking spaces is anchored in how customers perceive quality and the core values they associate with it. Based on customer research, Molenaar and Bongarts identified the most important criteria which play a role in determining what makes a ‘high-quality parking space’. The key aspects are:
Approximately 60 percent of visitors to city centres park their vehicle in the first parking location they find close to their destination. They want a parking location which is easily accessible and to be sure that a space will be available. They do not want to spend time driving around the city to find a parking spot. A key resistance factor is traffic jams. If they encounter frequent traffic jams on a particular route, visitors will go somewhere else. Acceptance of traffic jams is higher on journeys covering a greater distance.
Approximately 60 percent of people parking indicate that they do not know what it costs to park where they have left their car. Only a small percentage of motorists (1.5 percent) choose where to park based on price. These are mostly people parking for a short period. The percentage stating that they make their choice based on price is higher among people parking for a longer period, when price does influence where people decide to park.
Research conducted in The Hague, Maastricht, Rijswijk and Rotterdam shows that the average walking distance to the final destination is four minutes (<300 metres). Almost 70 percent of those parking indicated that the walking distance to the final destination, for example theatre or shops, influences the choice for a specific parking location.
Availability of parking spaces
Approximately 60 percent of parking customers prefer to park in a car park. This percentage rises if there is no free parking in the area. If there are no available parking spaces in the area, the percentage willing to park in a car park rises to as high as 72 percent. The reason being that motorists do not want to spend time looking for a place to park. Approximately 20 percent of motorists indicate that they always park in the same place out of habit.
Customers attach great value to safety: over 80 percent consider safety a key aspect when determining where to park. Good lighting, cleanliness, and service are all mentioned as important.
Customers consider easy access (wide entrance and exit lanes) to be important. They do not like sloping entrances or barriers in a bend, they want comfortable and easy turning circles, an ample parking space, angled parking, and no steep slopes to get from one level to the next.
Source: 'Invloed van parkeerbeleid op retail', C. Molenaar and J. Bongarts, Parkeer 24, 2016