HELEN DOLPHIN MBE LAUNCHES PEOPLE’S PARKING
An accreditation scheme that recognises how parking operators look after all their customers has been launched by disability rights campaigner Helen Dolphin MBE.
Helen lost all four of her limbs to meningococcal septicaemia on Christmas Day 1997 but this has not held her back. She has worked in television, holds several British swimming records and last year received an MBE in recognition for her services to disabled people. Making life better for disabled people is where the idea for People’s Parking came from;
“As a disabled person I have often struggled to get in and out of car parks. This is because I find it incredibly difficult to take tickets out of machines and also to put coins in slots. However, by making a few simple changes many car parks can make themselves accessible to disabled people and in doing so attract more customers. But access is not just something that affects disabled people. Parents with children can find it difficult to get them in and out of vehicles in standard sized bays and people driving high-sided vehicles have very little parking opportunities off-street. I therefore came up with People’s Parking.”
The People’s Parking initiative seeks to recognise how car parks cater for the needs of a variety of different users. Car parks applying for the People’s Parking accreditation will need to prove they are: well managed; have good signage; are clean and bright; offer good pedestrian access; and that parking rules are enforced.
Depending on the facilities offered, car parks can also gain additional accreditations if they are: accessible for disabled people; family friendly; have no height restrictions; provide cycle parking or feature charging for electric vehicles.
There are also accreditations for car parks that are convenient for commuters, close to shops, good for airport passengers and where parking can be pre-booked or paid for by phone.
The accreditation scheme requires completion of a self-assessment supplemented by photographic evidence.
The launch of People’s Parking offers parking operators an inclusive assessment scheme where they can promote the facilities they have on offer. For the public it means a simple way to find a car park which meets your requirements before you leave the house.
People’s Parking is currently UK based but Helen hopes it could become international in the future.