The Accredited Operator Scheme is a move by the Parking Industry to raise accountability of operators and provide protection to both retailers and motorists.
Parking Australia announced Secure Parking as the first company to have been accredited to conduct enforcement services on private land to stem the losses caused by car park abusers.
Better known as Australia’s largest operator of public car parks, Secure Parking diversified into enforcement of private car parks to provide a service for retailers and businesses losing around $15 billion a year through the abuse of parking at these locations.
Secure Parking now provides its enforcement services at a over 200 private car parks across Australia including fast food restaurants, regional and suburban shopping centres, hardware stores, major supermarkets and pay and display car parks.
Garth Mathews, Secure Parking’s Joint Chief Executive Officer, said the accreditation by Parking Australia was a validation of the professional approach Secure Parking had adopted when it entered the industry in 2011.
"From the begining, we have operated according to our own extremely stringent code of ethics since we began private car park operations, so we had to make only minor adjustments to our service model to fulfil the requirements of Parking Australia’s Accredited Operator Scheme ,” said Mr Mathews. “We were the first and only operator to voluntarily adopt a Code of Practice and that has been recognised with accreditation from Parking Australia.”
Under the Accredited Operator Scheme, enforcement agencies must abide by a code of ethics, provide signage clearly stating the terms and conditions of parking and provide an appeal process for motorists to challenge any infringement.
Mr Mathews said enforcement in private car parks was aimed at protecting the viability of local businesses and enhancing the shopper experience.
“Retailers are losing millions of dollars in trade because genuine customers can’t find a car space while illegal parkers have a free ride.” said Mr Mathews. “That’s not fair to business and it’s not fair to shoppers.
“The worst abuse occurs in areas where there’s a lack of on-street and off-street residential parking and around transport hubs and airports where motorists treat the private car park like a free commuter park. Cars are often parked all day, sometimes for longer than a month.”
A recent survey of retailers by Parking Australia revealed that 90 per cent of retailers who provide private parking experience motorists using their facilities for purposes other than doing business with 83 per cent suffering a financial impact. Around a third estimate they are losing 11 to 20 per cent in revenue because of carpark squatters. Over a quarter of businesses said they were at risk of going out of business as a result.
Mr Mathews said some illegal parkers were brazen in their disregard for the hardship they created for retailers.
More than a quarter of the retailers surveyed reported motorists who had left their cars illegally parked every day of the week. When you consider that every car parking space at a busy shopping centre has the potential to generate $1000 a day in revenue that represents a huge sum foregone.”
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