Forestry Commission Goes Ape For Ticketless Pay-On-Foot Parking From Newpark Solutions

Newpark Solutions has been awarded a major contract to install the latest Fusion ticketless pay-on-foot parking system at over 40 woods and forests across the UK managed by the Forestry Commission.  The company won the open tender for a formal framework agreement, one of the largest over the last few years, in the face of strong competition from established suppliers of traditional parking solutions.  The first two installations have already been completed to handle over 1000 car parking spaces situated at Alice Holt, a Royal forest in Hampshire, and Moors Valley Country Park in Dorset.

The Forestry Commission charges for vehicle access within these forests to supplement government funding and assist with the maintenance costs of the woodland facilities where a wide range of activities take place throughout the year.  They include live music, kids days out, walking, cycling, horse-riding, tree-top adventures, wildlife trails and wide range of special events.

According to Richard Burke, District Recreation and Public Affairs Manager at the Forestry Commission:  “A particularly important factor in choosing the Fusion system from Newpark Solutions was that being ticketless, it was a more environmentally friendly solution in keeping with our principles of conservation and sustainable forestry.  The new system takes care of itself allowing us to retain more revenue whilst reducing operational costs. Newpark is also tailoring each installation to meet specific local needs, with any software development carried out by its UK-based team of software specialists at no additional cost.”

The Fusion system uses ANPR cameras at the entrance to each car park, automatically raising the barriers and eliminating the need for drivers having to wait for tickets to be dispensed.  A virtual ticket is created upon entry and is used to allow the vehicle to leave by automatically raising the exit barrier after payment has been made.

The pay stations have been installed in purpose-built timber shelters to blend in with the natural surroundings in each location and protect drivers from the elements when paying for their parking before departure.  They feature large 17” screens that allow visitors to quickly and easily input their registration numbers even when wearing gloves or prosthetic devices.  Online payments can also be made through Newpark’s hosted platform before departure.

The Fusion system has lower ongoing maintenance costs as it removes the need to refill or repair ticket dispensers or replace lost chipcoins.  It also eliminates the lost revenues that occur when ticket-based systems malfunction and barriers have to be raised to let cars leave without paying.  Should a number plate not be recognised, an ‘honesty’ feature asks the visitor for an estimate of the time that their vehicle has been parked to capture revenues that would otherwise be lost.  Typically only around 0.5% of drivers have to use this feature across all Newpark installations.  Drivers are also treated more fairly as they will not have to pay the full day rate should they lose a ticket or pay to replace a missing chipcoin.

“With proven reliability in high volume parking applications, the Fusion system delivers higher revenues and lower operating costs, enabling us to further develop our woodland facilities and enhance the visitor experience,” continued Richard Burke.  “Newpark Solutions has demonstrated an innovative approach to developing the latest generation parking management solutions backed up with great customer service and we look forward to rolling out the system to other locations over the coming months.”

Newpark Solutions has also provided the Forestry Commission with a centralised parking management application with a real-time dashboard showing instant views of each car park, detailing all movements and payments.  It includes analytics that provide insight to help plan future events and identify peak periods to organise staff rotas in visitor centres.