Part of the mobility chain
Q-Park stands for ‘Quality in parking’. This fundamental choice for quality forms the core of our vision on our corporate social responsibility. With our parking facilities and associated services for our parking customers, Q-Park wants to be an integral part of the mobility chain. Regulated and paid parking, preferably in clean and safe facilities, offers an answer to the current and future challenges posed by the urban environment. It is on these topics that we engage in dialogue with local authorities.
The population is still growing and urbanisation continues. More than two-thirds of all Europeans live in urban areas. This is also where approximately 85 per cent of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is generated1. This increasing economic activity also has consequences for the quality of life. Cities have to contend with congestion, traffic cruising for a place to park, reduced accessibility, air pollution, and unattractive and unsafe streets and squares, full of parked cars. To prevent economic activity coming to a standstill, it is essential to develop and pursue an integral mobility policy.
Cities have to contend with limited space to facilitate mobility, while the number of cars continues to grow. Together with its partners, Q-Park is committed to a coherent mobility policy in which economic growth, quality of life, sustainable development, and environmental protection go hand in hand. A regulated parking and a well-thought-out pricing policy as part of the city mobility policy helps to manage the growing demand. It also shifts the cost to the user and limits unnecessary car use. Good information provision about available parking spaces and tariffs encourages mobility. Additionally, linking parking facilities with public transport, for instance by creating sufficient parking spaces for those who continue their journey by public transport and combining paid parking and public transport season tickets, also offers opportunities. Good parking facilities work in large cities as mobility machines.
The ideal parking tariff
Ideal parking tariffs are part of the mobility policy. They encourage motorists to look for cheaper alternatives, such as another means of transport (public transport or bicycle) or to park away from the centre. A parking tariff set by market forces helps to distribute parking spaces efficiently. There is therefore always sufficient space for those who want to pay to park in the inner city. Q-Park has extensive knowledge of this topic and advises city councils in this area.
Parking facilities are the showpiece for a city, shopping centre, station or hospital. At least, if they offer hospitality, because it is an art to make them both functional and attractive. Q-Park is committed to making parking facilities which are easy to find and accessible, available and easy to use, and which are also clean and safe and fit in with their surroundings.
Good use of limited space
Many private parking facilities are empty in the evenings and at weekends. To make better use of the limited space available, we work together with the owners of these locations to open them up for short-term parking. For this, we have developed a specific service whereby we also create value.
Part of the attractive city
The user or the local authority pays for the facilities which are essential to an attractive, accessible and viable city. Parking is not an end in itself. It is the shops, cafés and restaurants, culture, nightlife, centres of education and good hospitals that attract people. Visitors want to park their car near their destination. For them, the price is less important than being able to park nearby. Currently, some cities are developing into magnets, and for these centres, offering free parking is not the solution. Other cities, where the attractiveness is decreasing, are lagging behind.
Parking facilities are more expensive and more sustainable than on-street and off-street parking. Compared to the higher cost of construction, operation and maintenance, a car park contributes to pedestrian-friendly and high-quality public spaces.
Viable public space
A well-organised urban area offers ample space and encourages people to move around on foot, by bike or by public transport, which has a positive influence on their health and wellbeing. Q-Park is not in favour of unnecessary car usage, but promotes good parking facilities that function as nodes. Squares and streets change from traffic areas to places where people can move informally, safely and socially. In addition, a clean and safe parking facility seems to encourage responsible behaviour, not only in the facility but also in the surrounding area.
Jobs for practical people
As parking company, Q-Park offers interesting attractive work for people who like to take a practical approach. Our parking hosts and call centre staff are the local face of the familiar voice of Q-Park. They have direct contact with the customer and make the difference for Q-Park. They know they are appreciated for this. We ensure that our employees are well-trained and have customer focus. We also work on improving their resilience to aggression or violence, because that occurs occasionally.
Paid parking helps reduce car usage in cities, thus also reducing CO2 emissions and fossil fuel consumption. Good traffic flow, for instance with parking route information systems, has a positive effect on air quality. Dynamic parking tariffs - more expensive during peak hours - help to channel car usage.
Electric cars and shared vehicles
In an increasing number of Q-Park parking facilities, customers can recharge their electric car. We also reserve special parking spaces for partners who offer car sharing programmes.
Own operating activities
Q-Park endeavours to improve the environmental performance of its own parking facilities, its fleet, and its offices. In addition, we seek to influence the environmental performance of our major business partners in the value chain.
- Source: Europa Decentraal (a body that advises local government bodies in the Netherlands), March 2014.