One of the world-leading Pay on Foot parking systems manufacturer, DESIGNA, has worked with The Belfry shopping centre in Redhill, Surrey, to update its car parking system to the company’s advanced ABACUS software and equipment.
The installation, comprising four new state-of-the-art entrance and exit barriers, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and EasyAccess paystations, helps to improve the efficiency and security of the car park, which is popular with local shoppers due to its central location.
Being the first point of the shopping experience, the easiness and availability of a car park is crucial to the overall service and satisfaction of a customer. DESIGNA recognised this importance and developed ABACUS, an advanced car park access system that intelligently integrates various elements to create the ultimate system that is highly reliable and low-maintenance with impressive capabilities. It is also able to cope with large volumes of traffic while providing the highest level of monitoring to ensure a secure parking environment.
The Belfry is the shopping hub of Redhill and provides residents and visitors with an extensive choice of high street stores. The centre receives a high number of visitors each day, with the majority of visitors to the town using the car park for the day. The management found that its existing basic car parking equipment was unable to match the performance and reliability required for this constant flow of traffic.
Andy Nash, Shopping Centre Manager at The Belfry commented, “As the shopping centre was getting busier and busier we recognised the need for an access system with better reliability and service, and that could benefit the centre in the future. We released a tender for equipment that offered advanced technology and could help us to improve the service for our customers and we found that DESIGNA’s ABACUS did just this. With the new system we are now offering customers a better payment system, as well as potential frequent visitor schemes in the future.”
He continued, “The full installation was very efficient and did not disturb or impede our customers in any way and we were able to remain open as usual with parking available. DESIGNA UK have been very helpful and good to work with throughout the process and have been very quick and efficient in responding to any queries that we have had. The new installation has truly allowed us to enhance the experience for our customers and we are very pleased with the system itself and the many benefits it has brought to the shopping centre.”
The management’s decision to install the ABACUS system was supported by a demonstration of the software and equipment at one of DESIGNA’s flagship installations at the Dundrum shopping centre in Dublin and on the company’s stand at the Parkex exhibition.
The 780-space car park previously used a standard pay-on-foot barrier system. Now with the new DESIGNA system with its advanced ANPR, the shopping centre management can easily track the amount of time each car has stayed in the car park especially if someone loses a ticket.
By installing the ANPR cameras, The Belfry can also monitor the patterns of each customer’s visits and issue rewards to frequent customers. The system has also allowed the centre to set up a VIP Parkers scheme and make the current season ticket parking permits easier to use.
The car park’s entrance and exit are both installed with two DESIGNA In+ and Out+ ticket terminals respectively in the two lanes for a quicker flow of traffic for customers. The advanced terminals operate on the lowest energy consumption of their class with the ability to hold more tickets than before, with the bin adapting itself to the fill quantity. Customers are greeted with excellent user-friendliness due to the simplicity of the equipment and illuminated display with clear instructions.
Both the entrance and exit lanes are supported by DESIGNA’s robust barriers for added security, opened only either via the ANPR or ticket system.
For payment, six of DESIGNA’s new EasyAccess paystations are placed over two levels of the car park. This allows customers to pay for their visit before returning to their car and exit the car park more quickly. The EasyAccess paystation is deliberately designed to allow disabled customers to pay freely without assistance.
Each of the paystations is installed with an interactive monitor that makes it easy to pay and offers several different languages.
The shopping centre management have full access and control of the ABACAS system through the server, with a manual pay station (MPS) to allow them to create or override payments. The control room also links with each of the ticket and payment terminals via an Intercom Commend GE300 to attend to customer assistance when required.
Recognised worldwide for its high quality and intelligent systems, DESIGNA has over 15,000 systems installed globally across a wide range of car park situations, including shopping centres, airports and hospitals to name a few. ABACUS is one of the company’s innovations that demonstrates the endless possibilities available to car park operators. The future-proof technology allows for expansions of premises or new property acquisitions by allowing additional systems to be added to the network. In its many global applications, ABACUS has proved an effortless system for both operators and users and is a great investment for companies looking to the future.
In 1951 DESIGNA became Germany's first producer and supplier of parking meters. DESIGNA's history of innovation continued. At the end of the seventies, the Kiel-based enterprise was able to to introduce its first fully automatic parking system. The company's programme has now been further developed to encompass fully comprehensive solutions, from the design and planning phase right through to the installation and service of fully automatic parking systems. The experience DESIGNA has acquired over the last 50 years continues to benefit customers at every stage of the project.