The provision of parking at a workplace is not to be taken for granted, and can even be considered an employee bonus. Particularly in built-up areas, parking space comes at a premium, and can be charged for. When assessing the area needed for staff and customer parking, it should be noted that the current UK norm for parking spaces is 2.4 metres wide by 4.8 metres long. The space for manoeuvring (roadways) between bays is six metres. These dimensions are neither minimum nor written in tablets of stone, and may be revised to suit particular needs, but remember that good access and wider bays aids efficient use of the parking area.
Government guidelines recommend that 6% of parking should be allocated to disabled people, unless otherwise covered by local planning regulations. The guidance also recommends how to identify these spaces, with special markings and signage. It is recommended that parking spaces for disabled people are 3.6 metres in width, where the difference (1.2 metres) is yellow hatched to enable sufficient access for wheelchair users. These spaces should carry the wheelchair logo on the surface of the bay and display the appropriate sign at a driver’s eye level.
The car park is the gateway to the retail centre, the hospital, the university, the commercial office, and so on, and it’s where your customers and visitors gain a first impression of the kind of organisation you are. It is also their last impression when they depart. If their experience of your parking operation – be they customers, clients or employees – is not a good one, their opinion of you will reflect that.