News & Features

ParkingEye supports Disabled Motoring UK with charity donation

Posted in General News on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

ParkingEye has recently shown its commitment to disabled motorists by donating £1000 to the charity Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK).

DMUK is the national charity which supports disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders. DMUK owns the Disabled Parking Accreditation which aims to improve parking industry standards for disabled motorists.

ParkingEye has worked closely with the charity for many years and has been a long term supporter through DMUK’s Corporate Membership scheme. The charity has helped Parking Eye to ensure that their products are suitable for disabled motorists and to raise awareness of key initiatives.

Recently DMUK Chairman, Alan Norton, worked with ParkingEye directly and went to their HQ to test their new Glyde Kiosk. Whilst there, he reviewed the accessibility of the machine in terms of height for instance, but also provided feedback on aspects such as button size, legibility and functionality such as swiping/pressing/scrolling which can be difficult if people have physical challenges with their hands. He also made a number of recommendations which have been passed to the relevant teams for consideration, from helpline numbers, through to integration with mobility vehicle databases.

ParkingEye is at the forefront of new technology, which is also doing its bit to assist disabled motorists. By asking Blue Badge holders to register their details during a visit, they can be added to a whitelist (giving them free or discounted parking if appropriate) and can also verify the visitor is the badge holder, by showing the photograph. A number of NHS Trusts use whitelists in this way. Additionally, ANPR has enabled the rise of ‘virtual’ solutions which offer pre/auto-pay removing the need to make payment-on-foot altogether, thus eliminating a major pain point for disabled motorists. Vehicle registration technology also facilitates services such as ‘Click & Assist’ whereby the camera identifies a disabled motorist on entry to site and notifies a member of the team. The service representative can then meet the motorist, assist them in/out of the car and provide any special equipment they may require.

By working with the parking industry DMUK is championing the needs of disabled motorists and making sure that they aren’t overlooked in design processes. DMUK CEO, Graham Footer, said: “DMUK has a long established relationship with ParkingEye and we are proud of the work they are doing to promote the parking needs of disabled motorists. We are very grateful for their recent £1000 donation which further shows their commitment to the vital work that DMUK is doing. The charity does not receive any government funding and relies solely on donations. It’s important to DMUK that it continues to build relationships within the parking sector to improve the independence of disabled people.”

ParkingEye CEO, Phil Boynes, said: “As an organisation we’re committed to providing a positive parking experience for disabled motorists across the UK. By investing in new technologies, working closely with customers to tackle Blue Badge abuse and offering practical advice, parking operators have an opportunity to help disabled motorists live and work more easily in a highly connected world. It’s our hope that together, we can ensure accessible parking is available to those who need it, when they need it.”

ParkingEye carries out an annual customer survey and pledged to donate £10 to DMUK for every response that they received. They were thrilled with the response this year which has enabled them to make their donation of £1000 to DMUK. This demonstrates that not only do ParkingEye care about disabled motorists, they are also a priority for their clients.

There are still huge challenges to overcome in the parking sector, particularly with the recent changes to the Blue Badge eligibility criteria which will increase demand for accessible parking. It’s imperative that the parking industry continues to work with DMUK to ease problems that disabled motorist face.

Mark Anfield, Operations Director at ParkingEye, commented: “Recent changes in eligibility criteria for Blue Badges to cover 'hidden disabilities' in England is anticipated to add over 1 million more registrations into the system but with no major plans to increase the number of spaces, we can expect a further squeeze on ‘accessible’ bay availability. With this in mind, it’s never been more important for operators to actively challenge hardware design, encourage cloud-based technologies and advise landowners on how they make life easier for their disabled visitors. Let’s all do our bit.”

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