Park Mark announces winners of latest awards.

Congratulations to all those who have recently achieved their first award or have had their awards renewed. News of recent award winners are listed below by region.

Scotland and Northern Ireland

Q PARK'S BELFAST DOUBLE

Having recently obtained the Park Mark award for its three facilities at Belfast International Airport, Q Park Northern Ireland has achieved further success with a fourth Award.

The new underground car park operated by Q Park in Victoria Square, Belfast is the latest addition to the Safer Parking Scheme in Northern Ireland.

This state of the art facility which won the 2008 Best Car Parking Facility Award from the Irish Parking Association has now been awarded Park Mark.

This underground facility is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre at the new Victoria Square shopping complex and brings the total number of car parks holding the award in Belfast to 5 with the potential for more to join the Scheme.
ALLOA MAKES ITS MARK

Alloa Town Centre Business Improvement District has become the latest organisation to sign up to the Scheme.

In conjunction with Clackmannanshire council they have recently invested a significant amount of money in bringing all of their town centre car parks up to the standard required for the Park Mark Award.

This has resulted in a total of eight car parks receiving the Award.

This is the highest number of Awards held by any town centre in Scotland.

North East

The Park Mark award winning car park at The Light in Leeds is now being operated by Q-Park.

By obtaining this parking destination, Q-Park now operates four of the most convenient parking destinations in the City Centre; one at Criterion Place (a favourite for those indulging in business lunches at nearby restaurants such as Bibis and Chaophraya) and the others at the Merrion Centre and Queens Hall.

The 400 space underground car park is part of the 350,00 sq ft retail and leisure destination which also houses the 4 star Radisson Hotel, a popular venue for corporate meetings. It is also highly regarded as one of the safest car parks in the City and achieves very high occupancy levels being easily accessible via the loop.

Said Adam Bidder, Managing Director of Q-Park: This further enhances the Q-Park name, a brand associated with quality parking facilities and award winning customer service.

Brian Oakley, General Manager of The Light added: We are delighted to welcome Q-Park as the new operator of The Light car park. We are confident that it will continue to uphold the excellent standard of service and safety for which the car park is renowned, providing a secure and friendly environment for all customers

The Light car park is only a five minute walk from the Q-Park UK head office in Leeds.
TOP MARKS FOR UNIVERSITY OF YORK

The University has received an award for seven of its staff and public car parks, following inspection by the British Parking Association (BPA), Phil Taylor and the Police Architectural Liaison Officer, Jim Shanks.

The recently extended and improved Car Park North was particularly praised. Phil Taylor, from the BPA said: Safer Parking is the only scheme for car parking, which sets standards that, reduces crime and the fear of crime for customers. It is recognized and supported by the English and Scottish Governments. The Police Service who initiated the Scheme, play an active part by physically assessing all the car parking facilities on an annual basis. The University of York should be congratulated, and in particular Fiona Macey, for recognizing the importance of having their car parks critically assessed. We all know that students are statistically more likely to be victims of crime. By implementing actions, which reduces this possibility it illustrates that this University is committed to providing a safe and none threatening environment in which to study. The York University campus is the first in the North East of England to implement the Scheme. At present there are seven Safer Parking areas, but this number is very likely to increase when works are carried out on remaining car parks to bring them up to standard.

Keith Lilley, Director of Facilities Management, was presented with the Park Mark Award from Chief Constable, Graham Maxwell. Also present was Jim Shanks the Police Architectural Liaison Officer, Phil Taylor from the British Parking Association and Fiona Macey the Travel Plan Co-ordinator.
VALLEY CENTERTAINMENT WINS AGAIN

Valley Centertainment leisure park in Sheffield has scooped a prestigious police award for helping to reduce car crime in the city. The leisure park in Broughton Lane has been awarded the coveted Park Mark certificate for the fifth time.

At Valley Centertainment, a dedicated security team monitors CCTV cameras 24-hours a day and regularly patrols the car park.

Insp Stewart Edwards, of South Yorkshire Police, officially presented Valley Centertainment Manager Mike Jeffries with the Park Mark award.

Mr Jeffries said: We are delighted to have won the Park Mark award for a fifth time. The award, which is granted only after a stringent police inspection, is well earned recognition of the hard work put in by our security team and the measures we use, such as CCTV, to monitor the park day and night.

Having Park Mark status gives our customers the confidence of knowing that they and their cars are as safe as possible, which is vital if people are to relax in a leisure environment."

Phil Taylor, Area Development Officer for the Safer Parking Scheme, said: Valley Centertainment should be congratulated for its efforts to reduce crime and the fear of crime, which is what Park Mark is designed to recognise.

The leisure park has been very successful in helping to keep car crime in the car park at almost zero over the last 12 months.

The Park Mark award is going from strength to strength and is up to 3,900 car parks across the UK.
DURHAM CAR PARK DRIVES OFF WITH AWARD

A Durham car park has received an award for the tenth year in a row, in recognition of the safe and secure parking of over six million cars and zero car thefts.

The car park at Prince Bishops Shopping Centre has received its tenth Park Mark Award, which is part of a national scheme aimed at reducing crime and also the fear of crime that some people feel when using car parks.

Development Manager at the British Parking Association, Phil Taylor, Durham Constabulary Chief Constable, Jon Stoddart, and John Hedley, Architectural Liaison Officer from Durham Constabulary presented the award to Prince Bishops Operations Manager, Stuart Taylor.

Jon Stoddart, Durham Constabulary Chief Constable, commented: This is a fantastic achievement to have sustained this award for ten years, showing what design and planning can do to make Durham a safer place.

Over six million cars and not one broken into, safer parking and zero crime; Prince Bishops car park is truly an outstanding example.

Stuart Taylor, Prince Bishops Operations Manager, said: We are delighted to have been recognised for the tenth year in a row.

The centres ambassador team always strives to provide the best possible service, and maintain a safe and secure parking environment for the people of Durham. Id like to thank them for their continued efforts.

In addition to holding the respected Park Mark Award, Prince Bishops is also the first car park in Durham to receive the European Parking Award, an accolade reserved for only the very finest car parks in Europe.

South West

A BRACE FOR TORRIDGE

Torridge District Council have been awarded with two prestigious Safer Parking Scheme Park Mark awards.

The awards were presented on 15 April to Councillor Geoff Lee, Lead Member for Car Parks and Simon Toon, Parking Services Manager by Superintendent Stuart Lander from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and Chas Cannon, Development Manager from the Safer Parking Scheme.

As a result of ongoing improvements to Torridge car parks both The Quay and Bridge Street car parks in Bideford have been assessed by the police and deemed places that deter criminal activity and create a safer environment for car park users and their cars.

Councillor Geoff Lee, Lead Member for Parking Services said: The achievement of these awards demonstrates to our customers that we are committed to creating and maintaining quality parking facilities that meet the scheme standards particularly in minimising crime and the perceived fear of crime.
WINCHESTER ADD FIVE

A further five car parks in managed by Winchester City Council have recently been assessed and been accredited with Parkmark Safer Parking Status.

The car parks included are:


* New Alresford Station
* Basingwell and Lower Lane (Bishops Waltham)
* River Park in Winchester
* Chesil Street MSCP in Winchester

This brings the total number of car parks with the award up from 3 to 16 in the past year.

Richard Hein, Parking and Concessionary Travel Manager for Winchester said "This should be great news for our customers who use both City and District managed car parks, theses awards reflect the hard work and investment that has gone into making our car parks better, safer and more secure and reflects how they are managed. It is particularly pleasing that a number of our District car parks have now been included in the scheme.
Our new 800 space park and ride facility is now under construction to the South of Winchester and we would hope to include this area into the scheme on completion in April 2010, in addition we are near to completion of a major refurbishment of out Tower Street MSCP in central Winchester, work which has been carried out in partnership with Hampshire County Council including refurbished decks, and stairs, painting of the entire car park, traffic calming measures, and completely new energy efficient lighting throughout the entire car park, I would hope to submit this facility for the award later this year."

South East

A BUMPER SET FOR ARUN

Motorists in Arun have been given a boost after 26 of the districts car parks were given a top safety award.

The Park Mark Safer Parking awards were announced after the Councils car parks were scrutinised by an expert judging panel from the British Parking Association and the police at the beginning of the year.

The group, made up of police and parking experts, judged Aruns car parks to have achieved a high standard of safety, and awarded the coveted status to the 26 sites for the next 12 months. That means that more than 80 per cent of the districts car parks now hold the awards.

Councillor Paul Wotherspoon, Aruns Cabinet Member for the Environment with responsibility for car parks, said: "This is a fantastic accolade for our car parks and we hope it will encourage people to visit our towns and villages, safe in the knowledge they are parking in a recognised safe car park."

During the inspection, assessors were pleased to find that levels of crime continue to be extremely low in the Districts car parks.
In its report, the British Parking Association said: "Overall a very good standard is being maintained and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all personnel involved."

Arun District Councils Leader, Councillor Mrs Gillian Brown, said: "We are proud that the high standard of our car parks has been recognised and rewarded. We have some of the safest car parks in the country and Im delighted that the hard work and dedication of the councils parking team has been recognised. This is great news for residents and visitors."
TOP OF THE SHOPS FOR HEMPSTEAD VALLEY

Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre in Gillingham Kent has once again been accredited with The Safer Parking Award Park Mark for their three facilities. Their safety record is extremely impressive and since 2006 Hempsted has seen a constant reduction in crime-related incidents from 22 to eight. With an annual vehicle throughput in the region of 4m, the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime is very low. Many improvements have been made over the past twelve months, including the CCTV being upgraded and additional cameras installed, together with the actual parking areas re-lined and additional fencing installed, which has improved the overall appearance for customers. Visitors to the centre have commented on how safe they feel when shopping and return as a result.

Management are fully aware of the local competition and are committed to maintaining a high standard to ensure repeat custom, vital in times of recession. The internal security team are diligent and very aware of their proud record. Mike Bibby, Development Manager South East, said: Management of this facility should be congratulated on their ongoing commitment to the scheme. This is reflected in the low crime highlighted during the recent re-assessment. Management practices are of a very good standard.

The security team are mainly responsible for keeping any problems to the absolute minimum, through regular patrolling and monitoring of the CCTV, which produces high quality images. Although funding is becoming an issue due to the current economic climate, this has not deterred management from making a lot of improvements at a considerable cost customers can be confident this is a safe and nonthreatening environment.
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CHICHESTER IS AWARDED FOR ITS SAFE CAR PARKS

Fifteen car parks in Chichester have been awarded a Safer Parking Scheme Award following an assessment carried out by the British Parking Association and Sussex Police.

Six car parks in the city centre already holding the award, were successfully renewed, and a further nine car parks gained the award for the first time.

"Over two million vehicles a year use the city centres car parks and so it is important that users feel they are parking in a safe, well lit and secure area. Now, 95% of car park spaces within the City Centre are covered by the award." said Cllr Derek James, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Chichester District Council.

"We have recently introduced additional lighting and new signage in a number of our car parks, and these improvements are set to continue." he added.

The car parks awarded within the scheme were:

* Avenue De Chartres Car Park
* Avenue De Chartres (West)
* Baffins Lane Car Park (Renewed)
* Basin Road
* Cattle Market (Renewed)
* East Pallant / Cawley Priory (Renewed)
* Market Avenue Car Park
* Market Avenue (St Johns)
* Market Road Car Park
* Northgate Car Park (Renewed)
* Orchard Street Car Park
* South Pallant (Renewed)
* St.Cyriacs Car Park
* Via Ravenna Coach Park
* Westgate Car Park

Records for the past twelve months show that crime related incidents in these car parks have been extremely low, which is one of the criteria on which they are judged. Only 40 car park crimes were reported within the twelve month period, a 68% reduction compared to the number of incidents that occurred before the introduction of CCTV.

The Cattle Market Car Park saw the number of incidents fall from 11 in 2006/07 to only 5 in the last twelve months. The low number of incidents of vehicle crime, combined with the coverage of the CCTV system, has helped the District Council to achieve the Safer Parking Award in 15 city centre car parks.

CONGRATULATIONS TO CAMBRIDGE

Grafton East Multi Storey Car Park in Cambridge recently received their first award. This now gives the council four awards in the city centre.

This facility has had 2.5m spent on this refurbishment over the past 12 months with the work completed in February. Having seen what the car park was like was some years ago, both Mike Bibby, Development Manager for the Scheme, and the Police assessor were very impressed with the result and believe it is an excellent example of what can be achieved as long the necessary funding is available.

Over the past 12 months only one crime has been recorded and with an annual vehicle throughput of 472,000 (down due to the improvements) this is now a very safe environment for shoppers of the adjoining shopping centre.
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British Parking Association
Website
www.britishparking.co.uk
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