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News Lead Story: Issue 240 10 Mar 2012

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Heathrow's pods win British Parking Awards

Over 500 parking professionals attend Parking Review awards

Mark Moran

A network of driverless electric pods that shuttle passengers between Heathrow Terminal 5 and the BAA airport’s business car parks has won the top prize at the British Parking Awards 2012, which took place at a lunch hosted by Alexander Armstrong in London yesterday (Friday).

The Global Ultra PRT Pod system, which is the result of £30m of research and development over the past six years, won the Equita Overall Winner Award, having already scooped an Innovation Award and the Parking and the Environment Award. Passengers summon the four-person pods when they park at the business car park. They are then whisked to the terminal along a dedicated trackway. The 21 pods are credited with removing 50,000 shuttle bus journeys from the airport’s busy road network.

The British Parking Awards are organised by Parking Review and sponsored by Equita. They have recognised excellence in parking management, design and technology since 2002. This year over 80 entries from across the public and private sectors competed for recognition. The winners were selected by an independent panel of experts drawn from across the parking sector.

Besides the three trophies that the Ultra Pods system won, BAA also left the InterContinental on Park Lane with a fourth trophy. Andy Cameron, car park manager at Heathrow Airport, was named Parking Person of the Year for creating customer-friendly additional services such as parent & child bays and a car service centre.

The Exceptional Customer Service Award went to Ealing Council, which has made life easier for drivers by revising its customer complaints processes, making it easier to renew residents permits online and to buy visitor parking time via the phone rather than pre-paid vouchers.

The Best New Car Park was Birmingham City Council’s Millennium Point. This multi-storey is a key element of the revitalisation of the city’s Eastside area as a ‘Digital City’. Built by Thomas Vale and designed by Urban Design, its striking Cubist exterior has been likened to a Mondrian painting.

The Best Refurbishment Award went to The Barracks car park project in Coventry. Makers Construction was able to save a key city centre car park from demolition.

Parking is not just about infrastructure, as the apps and websites competing in the new Digital Parking Award proved. Cobalt Telephone Technologies won the Digital Parking Award for its smartphone RingGo parking app. Another service,, won an Innovation Award. Parkopedia provides information on the location, price and availability of parking via sat-navs and the AA parking app.

Another new category this year was Parking Partnerships, which was won by the Essex Parking Partnership, which has delivered significant cost and operational efficiencies by coordinating resources across the county. The South East Parking Group was named Parking Team of the Year. The South East Parking Group is an alliance of councils from across Kent, Hastings, East Sussex and the London Borough of Bromley. The group shares best practice. This is delivering consistent parking regulations and policies in what is the Gateway to Europe.

The popular Parking in the Community Award was presented to Future Clean Exeter, an environmentally-friendly car wash project run by Exeter City Council and social enterprise Pluss which helps people with physical and learning disabilities into work.

The Enforcement Award was presented to Shropshire Council in recognition of the team’s work in combining parking management with community and neighbourhood patrols that tackle anti-social behaviour. The county’s parking team also monitors road works, making sure they do not over-run.

Jane Hack, director of membership at the British Parking Association (BPA), received an award for her Outstanding Contribution to the Parking Sector. Jane has worked in parking for 20 years and is a guiding light behind the Institute of Parking Professionals (IPP).

The future of parking was recognised in the Young Parking Professional of the Year Award, presented to a rising star in the sector aged under 30. The winner was James Adlem, parking services officer at Brighton & Hove City Council, who has revamped the parking service’s website and helped it embrace the world of social media via parking Facebook pages and Twitter posts.

Paul Sharpe, marketing director of main sponsor Equita, said: "We were pleased to see that new categories devoted to Partnership and Digital Parking have caught your imagination. In the Digital category, we were able to look at apps, websites and even parking blogs. It was not all surfing the net. Once again, judges were out and about looking at the car parks short listed in the design categories, whatever the weather. Parking is not only about structures and technology, though. It is a people industry. We were pleased to see a good range of entries in the team and young professional categories. "

For more information on the British Parking Awards visit:

British Parking Awards 2012: The winners

1. The Equita Overall Winner
Heathrow Pods: Ultra Global PRT & BAA

2. Best New Car Park
Sponsored by SIX Card Solutions

• Winner: Millennium Point MSCP, Birmingham: Thomas Vale Construction, Birmingham City Council and Urban Design
• North Terminal MSCP 6, Gatwick Airport, London: SCC, Gatwick Airport and APCOA Parking (UK) Highly commended
• Birstall Park & Ride: Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Tarmac National Contracting
• Luton Station MSCP: Luton Borough Council, Network Rail, First Capital Connect, Osborne, Volker Fitzpatrick
• Lister Hospital MSCP, Stevenage: VINCI Park UK and East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust Highly commended

3. Best Car Park Refurbishment

• Winner: Barracks MSCP, Coventry: Makers Construction and Coventry City Council
• Brighton Police Station: Brighton Police, Radflex Contract Services, IKO Permanite, Neville Goldsmith, Hamson Partnership Highly commended
• High Chelmer MSCP, Chelmsford: Chelmsford Borough Council, Gunite (Eastern) and Sika
• Mitchell Road MSCP, Eastleigh: Eastleigh Borough Council

4. Digital Parking Award
Sponsored by Travel 2020

• Winner: Driving app usage: The RingGo Experience - Cobalt Telephone Technologies
• Digital parking: Brighton & Hove City Council Highly commended
• NCP Android App: NCP
• The AA Parking App: Parkopedia

5. Parking and the Environment Award
Sponsored by Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions

Winner: Heathrow pods: Ultra Global PRT & BAA
• Birstall P&R: Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council & Tarmac National Contracting Highly commended
• Lincoln Green: City of Lincoln Council
• Low emissions car park: St Edmundsbury Borough Council
• UK’s largest city centre solar PV system: Town Centre Car Parks
• Lister Hospital MSCP: VINCI Park UK and East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

6. Parking Partnerships Award
Sponsored by Transport Xtra

• Winner: Essex Parking Partnership: North Essex Parking Partnership, South Essex Parking Partnership & Essex County Council
• Adur and Worthing Councils with NSL Services
• Birstall Park & Ride: Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council, Tarmac National Contracting, Midlands Highways Alliance Highly commended

7. Parking in the Community Award
Sponsored by APCOA Parking (UK)

• Winner: Future Clean Exeter: Exeter City Council and Pluss
• Providing opportunities for young people: Croydon Council Highly commended
• Shropshire Parking Enforcement: Shropshire Council

8. Parking Person of the Year
Sponsored by RingGo

• Winner: Andy Cameron, BAA car park manager, Heathrow Airport
• David Edmeades, head of enforcement, Town & City Parking
• Rod Williamson, team leader, City Services, City of Lincoln Council

9. Young Parking Professional Award
Sponsored by

• Winner: James Adlem, policy & development officer, Brighton & Hove City Council
• Sahar Abuelbashar, parking services officer, Brighton & Hove City Council Highly commended
• Tom Davis, parking services projects officer, London Borough of Merton

10. Parking Team of the Year
Sponsored by BemroseBooth Mobile

• Winner: South East Parking Group
• Parking Services: Brighton & Hove City Council
• Parking Services: London Borough of Lambeth
• Merton Parking Services: London Borough of Merton
• Shropshire Parking Enforcement: Shropshire Council Highly commended

11. Enforcement Award
Sponsored by The Enforcers

• Winner: Shropshire Parking Enforcement: Shropshire Council
• Foreign registered vehicles: Euro Parking Collection, Ashford Borough Council & London Borough of Wandsworth
• Recovery prospects improve with Rialto in the Square Mile: Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions, City of London Corporation, Parking Associates and VINCI Park UK Highly commended
• VINCI Park UK and Slough Borough Counci

12. Exceptional Customer Service Award
Sponsored by Alpha Parking

• Winner: Excellence in Ealing: Ealing Council
• Rising from the ashes: Croydon Council Highly commended
• Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth: Land Securities
• A customer-focused organisation: Q-Park
• Customer service is the key: Total Car Parks

13. Innovation Award
Sponsored by ACS, a Xerox Company
This year innovations were divided into two categories

i) Technical innovation
Winner: Heathrow pods: Ultra Global PRT & BAA
• Gatwick Upper Forecourt: APCOA Parking (UK)
• SENSIT surface mount: Nedap AVI Highly commended
• Managing and maintaining handheld computers on an authority-wide scale – Mouchel & London Borough of Islington

ii) Innovative services and operations
• Winner:
• Ground-breaking retail parking payments:  BemroseBooth Mobile
• The end of paper vouchers?: Ealing Council & PayByPhone Highly commended
• The PayPoint cash payment solution: PayByPhone & Islington Council
• Multiple posting suspension sign: Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
• A new approach to resident parking permits:  Vertex & Westminster City Council Highly commended

14. Outstanding Contribution to the parking sector
• Jane Hack, director of membership, British Parking Association

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