Avenham car park - safe and green

- Preston, United Kingdom, EU

Preston City Council’s Avenham multi storey car park has not only retained its Police approved Safer Parking Award for the sixth year in succession, but is going green by installing two free electric car charging points.

Over the last few years, the ownership of electric powered or dual fuel vehicles (that include electric power) has increased. Through a series of measures - government grants, reduced cost of purchase generally and an increased range of reliable, economic vehicles - this trend in ownership is likely to increase. Electric cars are amongst the cleanest, most efficient, and most cost-effective form of transportation around. The latest models of electric cars are high-performance vehicles that have greater range, especially when combined with petrol engines for the longer journeys.

The City Council proposes to convert two premium spaces on the ground floor of Avenham car park to spaces for electric vehicles only, with the requisite charging points. The parking bays will be brightly coloured so as to stand out and clearly signed with a graphic information panel explaining the charging system.

Avenham car park currently receives around 400 visitors each day during the working week and it is proposed to allow customers to park at the current displayed tariffs and recharge their vehicles for free during their visit (although the cost of parking would be met in the usual way).

Only St George's Shopping Centre currently offers electric car charging points in the city centre, where there are two parking bays. This proposal by the City Council will double Preston's current offering.

Avenham car park has also retained its Police approved Safer Parking Award ‘Park Mark’ for 2013, the sixth time in succession that the car park has been given the award.

The ‘Park Mark Award’ is a national standard awarded by the British Parking Association; it is supported by the Home Office and all Police Forces in Britain. It recognises organisations that tackle crime, the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour in their car parks.

Recently, measures were introduced to make this car park as secure as possible; these are: CCTV cameras, frequent security patrols, extra lighting, secure barrier payment system and a number of security measures to prevent people entering the building when it is closed.

Councillor Robert Boswell, Cabinet member for environment, commented:

“This award recognises that Avenham car park is a safe, clean and customer-friendly place to park, and the council is very proud to have secured the Park Mark for the sixth year running.

“The recognition should reassure our customers and encourage people to park here when they visit the city centre in the knowledge that their possessions and vehicles are as secure as can be.

“Combining the award with the installation of the electric car charging points, meets the changing demands of our customers and recognises the councils commitment to making Preston a greener and cleaner place. The council is willing to invest in this facility for the people of Preston, both now and in the future.”

Background information

  • Each of the two dedicated parking bays will have a 32 Amp, 11kW 3 Phase Charge point to allow for fast charging over 3 to 4 hours. The equipment will meet current standards, that being Mode 3, Type 2.
  • In the background and to support the charging points, it is proposed to purchase a GSM management hosting package that will allow the usage to be monitored, allows a function to add a Pay as You Go option, in case in the future the power used is charged for and also allows real time linking to web sites whereby the availability of the charging points can be made available.
  • The bays should be installed by the end of August 2013.
  • The full cost of the project is £6,000 for the two bays (supply and installation of the equipment, marked out bays and monitoring software). Lancashire County Council has kindly provided a grant of £5,000 from its Local Sustainable Transport Fund. Preston City Council will make up the shortfall of £1,000.
  • A total of 560 parking spaces are available with parking from £1.30 for an hour’s parking to £6.00 for 24hrs; longer term parking for commuters is available with the peace of mind that whilst they are away their car is securely parked and locked in at night.
  • Contract parking is also available from as little as £2.15 per day.
  • Operating times are 06:45-20:00 hours daily with the facility closed and secured overnight.
  • The photograph is of electric car charging points at St George's car park, Preston.
Prenston City Council
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