There are many reasons as to why you might want to set up a temporary car park. Perhaps you’re putting on a country fete or there might be an annual sports event taking place in your locality – maybe you’ve even decided to see if you can generate some funds for your favourite charity at Christmas, putting on additional space for shoppers in an urban area. We’ve put together a list of easy to use guidelines for putting a temporary car park into place that should help you get an idea of all the factors you’ll need to take into consideration.
When looking for a site for your temporary car park you should take the following factors into consideration. The first thing to look at is locations – you will not need to apply for planning permission if your site is not in the grounds of a building and you’re looking to set up the facility for 28 days or less, otherwise you may need to talk to your local council in order to gain a permit for the car park. If the area on which you’re thinking of putting the car park is a protected environment, then you will have to talk to the appropriate agencies to gain permission to use the site as a car park, even if you own the land. One of the biggest considerations in this situation is whether or not you’ll be able to return the land to its original state. You’ll also want to make sure that there is the right kind of access to your site – if you’re thinking of putting a car park down a little single file lane, then this obviously will cause problems when some cars are leaving and others are trying to enter the car park simultaneously.
Field Car Parks
Setting your car park up in a field? Then be aware that high traffic areas will be prone to turning into mud, especially if there is rain on the day or the night before. This can be combated by using special metal sheets that can be placed over the most risky areas, allowing even the lightest wheel based cars to traverse over slippery grounds. If you decide to host your car park on a day when there is heavy rain, then you may need to hire a tractor to pull out cars that have become stranded or stuck in the mud. We’d advise that you stay on top of the weather report and if you have an inkling that there might be a large downpour, then make some calls in advance to find out where you can hire such a service.
Signs and Bollards
It can be incredibly useful to purchase some cones and barriers to help you set up your car park. You’ll need to clearly mark the corners of the parking rows as well as entrances and exits in order to make sure that people don’t park in important through routes. You can use signs to point out the flow of traffic – we’d suggest you install a one way system to prevent people from having to back up. You must also make sure that there is adequate space for emergency vehicles to enter into your site as well as a clearly marked route for pedestrians to get to and from their cars without having to intermingle with the traffic about the car park too much. With a little proper planning of your site you can make effective and easily usable traffic lanes, pedestrian routes – giving the car park a good flow of people and vehicles so they don’t interfere with one another.
If you’re looking at having quite a large temporary car park, then you may need to employ marshals, especially if you don’t have an electronic ticketing system. These workers will have to be provided with high-visibility clothing, especially if they’re helping direct the traffic round the site. It is always best to employ people who have a good driving knowledge to direct traffic, as they will be aware of what manoeuvres are possible in certain situations. If you can, try to employ the same marshals all day so they can get acquainted with which vehicles are located where, and therefore can help people returning to the park find their cars more quickly.
Want to charge people for using your temporary car park? Then you will need to have one worker who is responsible for looking after the cash box, issuing tickets and collecting fees. We’d always recommend that you clearly stipulate the fine for loosing tickets, so that people are aware that if they don’t keep their ticket safe they’ll be charged the full amount. This will stop people from trying to defraud you by claiming they’ve parked their car for a shorter amount of time than they actually have.
If you are setting up your temporary car park as a fund raising measure or as an overflow parking scheme to relieve a local event, then don’t forget to tell people about it. As well as putting out signs on notice boards and in supermarkets, make sure that you get your friends and family to broadcast the message out on Facebook, Twitter and any other social networks to which they might belong. If you are going to invest a large amount of time, money and effort into your temporary car park then it is vital that people use it.
A Final Note
You don’t just have to provide people with parking facilities. You may want to put toilets on your site, especially if you’re providing overflow parking for a local event, which will win you no end of fans. In order to capitalise on your audience further you could even have a small snack stop where you could sell crisps and drinks to travellers – there are a number of different ways in which you can capitalise on your temporary car park in addition to selling tickets, so don’t let the opportunity pass you by.
Author Bio - Laura Holland
Social Media and Web Content Coordinator, Jan 2014 - May 2015